UFC: Rose Namajunas Says Staying True to Herself Key to Navigating Life As Public Figure

Las Vegas, NV — “Thug” Rose Namajunas had a huge 2021, reclaiming her strawweight title then defending it in an instant rematch with Weili Zhang.

Asked what she credits that success to, Namajunas told Cageside Press ahead of Friday’s World MMA Awards that it boiled down to “lots of hard work in the making just piling up and spilling over.”

“I think just maintaining the consistency, discipline, focus, all of those things, it’s been a blessing all around. Not for no reason, basically, lots of hard work, but lots of blessings as well. Because you can do hard work and things not pan out. So it’s just a combination of all those things.”

Now in her second reign of champion, Namajunas is a little more used to navigating the perils of fame, but she admits that “it’s really tough.”

“I think it’s just constantly maintaining, staying true to myself. That’s a lot of self awareness and things. It’s a learning process, but I have really great people around me. Obviously Trevor [Wittman], Pat [Barry], [Justin] Gaethje, Kamaru [Usman], Chico [Camus], Greg [Nelson]. I think just everybody that I have around me kind of helps me grow into that environment. I just have a lot of foresight and a lot of experience around me, so that helps a lot. But I still make mistakes, I’m not perfect, but that comes with the territory.”

Namajunas, who has rocked the shaved head look for years now, says there may come a day where she grows it back. “I’ve had dreams about myself where I have hair, so maybe I subconsciously miss it. One day I will grow it back, but not yet.”

Check out our full chat with UFC strawweight champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas above.