The Early Years
Rose Namajunas, also known as “Thug Rose,” was born on June 29, 1992, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is of Lithuanian and Mexican descent and grew up with her younger brother and sister.
Namajunas was introduced to martial arts at a young age by her father, who was also a martial artist. She started training in Taekwondo and Karate at the age of five, and eventually transitioned to mixed martial arts (MMA) in her teens.
Rise to Fame
Namajunas made her professional MMA debut in 2013 and quickly became a fan favorite for her aggressive fighting style and colorful personality. In 2014, she joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest MMA promotion in the world.
Namajunas had some setbacks in her early UFC career but bounced back with a series of impressive wins. In 2017, she fought Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship and pulled off a stunning upset, knocking out the previously undefeated champion in the first round.
Off the Octagon
Despite her success in the UFC, Namajunas has faced her fair share of challenges outside the cage. She has been open about her struggles with mental health and has spoken publicly about her experiences with anxiety and depression.
Namajunas is also an advocate for environmentalism and has been involved in various conservation efforts. She has partnered with organizations like Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council to raise awareness about climate change and other environmental issues.
In 2021, Namajunas made headlines for controversial comments she made leading up to a fight with Zhang Weili, a Chinese MMA fighter. Namajunas made remarks about communism and her belief in individualism, which some criticized as insensitive and politically charged.
Namajunas later clarified her comments, stating that they were not intended to be political and that she did not support any specific political ideology. The incident sparked a larger conversation about the role of athletes in politics and the pressure they face to speak out on social issues.
Outside of MMA, Namajunas enjoys spending time in nature and practicing yoga. She is engaged to fellow UFC fighter Pat Barry and the couple has two dogs together.
Namajunas has said that she hopes to use her platform as a professional athlete to inspire others and make a positive impact in the world.
Rose Namajunas is a talented and accomplished athlete who has overcome numerous challenges throughout her career. Her fighting style and outspoken personality have made her a fan favorite, while her advocacy work and personal struggles have inspired many. Whether in the octagon or outside of it, Namajunas has proven to be a champion in every sense of the word.