She was the recipient of Jedrzejczyk’s verbal abuse all week long, but it was Namajunas who unleashed the physical abuse that did the job when it came time to back those words up.
Though she may have looked vulnerable at times during the verbal battles in the lead-up to the fight, Namajunas showed her confidence from the opening bell on Saturday, immediately meeting Jedrzejczyk at the center of the Octagon.
Jedrzejczyk got the better of a couple early exchanges, landing punches in flurries, but she never hurt Namajunas.
A little over a minute and a half into the fight, Namajunas dropped Jedrzejczyk to the ground, somewhere she’s not accustomed to being. Though Namajunas followed her down, she couldn’t keep the champion there, and the fight was quickly back on the feet.
Her confidence riding high, Namajuas kept after Jedrzejczyk, catching her with a left hand that again put her on the canvas. This time, however, Namajuas followed and unloaded with jackhammer left hands to the head, not stopping until Jedrzejczyk tapped to the strikes.
“There’s so much crap going on the media, the news, I just want to try and use martial arts to change things,” Namajunas said after the fight. “This don’t mean nothing man, let’s just be good to each other. I know we fight, but this is entertainment.”
Jedrzejczyk was headed into the history books if she had won the fight. She would have tied Ronda Rousey’s record for most women’s UFC title defenses. That would have been special, but Namajunas upset those plans, proving that she had grown immensely since her first title shot coming off of The Ultimate Fighter three years ago.
Despite her achievement, Namajunas refused to put herself above anyone else.
“I feel like a normal person man,” she responded when interviewer Joe Rogan asked how she felt after claiming the title. “I’m just regular. I ain’t nothing special.”
She may be regular, she may be humble, but there is definitely something special about Rose Namajunas whether she wants to admit it or not.