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UFC 261: Is Rose Namajunas the female Strawweight GOAT?

Rose Namajunas reclaimed the strawweight title at UFC 261
Rose Namajunas reclaimed the strawweight title at UFC 261
ANALYST
Modified 25 Apr 2021
Feature

Rose Namajunas was an underdog in her fight against Weili Zhang. Many doubted how she would fare against the Chinese powerhouse, especially considering how fast and durable Zhang was in her previous fight.

The bigger question, though, was where was Rose Namajunas going to be mentally? Will she be dialed in and ready to go? Or will we see the same Rose Namajunas who said she was relieved to have lost the title after her loss against Jessica Andrade?

When you look at Namajunas' MMA record, it's not the most flattering. At 10-4, she's won only 70 percent of her fights. When you talk about legends, when you talk about the best in the business, you don't see them having such a record.

But then that's the thing with the young champion. She suffered a few uncharacteristic losses earlier in her career and is now in prime shape both mentally and physically to take on anyone.

At UFC 261, she became the first women's UFC fighter to win a UFC title twice. And in doing so, it's hard to disagree that she has already cemented her legacy as one of the greatest strawweight fighters in the UFC.

She's 2-0 against Joanna Jędrzejczyk, another dominant Champion in the division. She's also defeated both Weili Zhang and Jessica Andrade, the only other champions in the history of the division.

Rose Namajunas has the most complete game in the division right now thanks to the way she moves on her feet and how adept she is at grappling. There's no facet of MMA fighting where Namajunas is uncomfortable. With her conquering her mental demons, she's on her way to building a strong legacy in the UFC.

What's next for Rose Namajunas?

For Rose Namajunas, there are multiple contenders in the division that could challenge her in the future. For now, it does seem that she could have a trilogy lined up against Joanna Jędrzejczyk where she should be the favorite. Beyond that, there are quite a few interesting contenders lined up and waiting for her.

The strawweight division is surely in good hands for now. Although we might hear a few more "Thug Rose" chants in the upcoming PPVs.

Published 25 Apr 2021
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