For Invicta FC 115-pound fighter Rose Namajunas, taking chances has worked out well this year.
Firstly, her decision to turn pro by joining Invicta FC earlier this year – following a strong 4-0 start to her amateur career – worked out with back-to-back wins in the promotion.
“My skill level has definitely jumped up since I turned pro, but you can face a really skilled amateur fighter with not too many fights or really skilled pro fighter with a lot of fights and anyone can win. So it can be difficult to gauge when the right time to turn pro is,” said Namajunas.
“It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to take a chance and for me it’s worked out pretty well.”
Perhaps an even bigger chance has yielded even bigger rewards as Namajunas put on one of the standout performances of this past Friday’s Invicta FC 5 event when she submitted Kathina Catron in just 12 seconds via flying armbar.
“It’s really thrilling to not only get Submission of the Night, but end it in such spectacular fashion,” she said. “It only took 12 seconds and it’s like the fifth fastest submission (overall) in MMA, let alone the fastest women’s submission is overwhelming.
“It’s something I knew was in my bag of tricks, but I definitely took a risk in it and took a chance going for it, but it worked out, and I still can’t believe it actually happened.”
On a card stacked with some of the top women fighters in the world, for Namajunas to stand out is a huge thing for her young career. Invicta FC 5 included the highly anticipated promotional debut of former Strikeforce champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos.
“It’s definitely a big reward for me,” said Namajunas. “Cyborg (Justino), the Barb Honchak vs. Vanessa Porto fight, and then the Jessica Penne vs. ‘Karate Hottie’ (Michelle Waterson) title fight were all big fights, and along with Leslie Smith vs. Sarah Kaufman were all big names on the card and to be able to only be 2-0 and be such a young prospect in this sport and be able to break through that and be able to shine amongst all those other great names is surreal and unbelievable.
“I know what I’m capable of and I just had to believe in myself and it worked.”
Now that she’s put herself on the map, Namajunas told MMAWeekly.com that, after some time off, she’s ready for whatever challenge is put in front of her next.
“First thing’s first, I want to heal up my ankle that I sprained a few weeks before the fight, and then really whoever they want to give me,” she said. “There’s a few names they’re tossing around, but there’s so many girls at 115, even the ones that aren’t in Invicta yet.
“I’m not a matchmaker, so I’m not the best at knowing who the next challenge is for me, so it’s really just whatever Invicta has in mind for me.”
(Photo courtesy of Invicta FC and Esther Lin)