Rose Namajunas didn’t get the moniker ‘thug’ for no reason.
At UFC Kansas in the co-main event, the young strawweight defeated Michelle Waterson in the second round with a rear-naked choke after relentless pressure had Waterson outmatched in the grappling department.
In the first, Waterson went for a hip throw takedown, only for Namajunas to take control on the ground and land a few decent shots from the top. But during the second, while Waterson had landed several decent front kicks to the leg and oblique of Namajunas, the ‘Karate Hottie’ was knocked off her feet with a huge headkick.
Watch the final two minutes of tonight's co-main event as Rose Namajunas sets up her finish over Michelle Waterson. Amazing work by THUG! pic.twitter.com/dRNUCXJ7iG
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 16, 2017
Then, Namajunas swarmed again, and while Waterson held her off for a moment, Namajunas managed to take the back and sunk in the choke, ending the contest.
“I surprised with the power that Michelle had,” Namajunas said, post-fight. “My visions a little messed up right now. She’s tough man.”
And with the biggest win of her career, ‘Thug Rose’ made sure to stake her claim for the next shot at the UFC women’s strawweight title. That belt is set to be defended at UFC 211 as the 115-pound champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk meets Jessica Andrade.
Not that Rose cares who she’ll have to face.
“I feel like I can go all the way to the belt, and hold it for a while,” she said. “So Joanna, or whoever’s gonna win that fight. I’m coming for you — be careful.”