UFC strawweight champ Rose Namajunas was “super upset” after the chaos caused Thursday by Conor McGregor, but she will remain in the UFC 223 co-main event vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Namajunas' win over Jedrzejczyk in November was a near-historic upset. She was a massive underdog to Jedrzejczyk, who came into the fight with a perfect 14-0 record (compared to Namajunas' 6-3), and was considered by most an easy title defense for a champion who had ruled the division with gleeful violence for more than two years.
Color analyst Joe Rogan entered the cage after the match, microphone in hand, to interview Namajunas. This is often the moment when a new champion is exultant. They're overcome with emotion and don't have the words to describe how they're feeling. Sometimes they set up their next opponent or tell the world they'd be happy to give the formerly great champion a rematch.
"There's so much, like, crap going on in the media, news and stuff. And I just wanna try and use my gift of martial arts to try to make this world a better place. To change the world," Namajunas said. "This belt don't mean nothing, man. Just be a good person. That's it. You know, this [referring to her new UFC belt] is extra. This is awesome. But let's just give each other hugs and be nice, man. I know we fight, but this is entertainment."
The belt that was wrapped around her waist that night in New York City? It's hanging on the wall at the 303 Training Center, framed behind glass in a nice wooden box. She didn't take it home with her, instead choosing to give it to her team for display.
She isn't worried about the way the world sees her. She's worried about the way she sees the world.
Spend time with her, and you don't hear about the sustainability of her title reign; you hear about the sustainability of the way people live. About setting up a system to teach urban dwellers how to create and maintain livable gardens in big cities such as Denver, how to grow their own food and live off the land. About being kinder to the Earth and to each other.
When Namajunas says she just wants to make the world a better place, it's not some rote answer to a question she's asked all the time. She truly does want to make the world a better place. And not only that, but she also has a plan to do it.
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Reported by: Bleacher Report