Rose Namajunas named ESPN’s Fighter of the Year

One of the newest Ultimate Fighting Championship title holders has been given the prestigious honor of being named Fighter of the Year.

UFC Strawweight champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas went 2-0 in 2017, which notably included a shocking first-round knockout over the previously unbeaten and pound for pound ranked Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Considering the circumstances of that fight and the run Jedrzejczyk had been on, it was debatably the year’s top individual performance, as well as one of the year’s biggest upsets.

Going into UFC 217, Jedrzejczyk was one of the most feared female champions ever. Namajunas was able to finish her in three minutes, via knockout — the first finish of the Polish fighter’s professional career. And she did it inside the pressure-cooker setting of a historic arena on the UFC’s biggest card of 2017.

Namajunas also garnered a dominant highlight-reel submission victory over former Invicta Atomweight champion Michelle Waterson last April. She landed a head kick that dropped Waterson in the second round which gave Rose the opportunity to seek and secure the rear naked choke finish.

Namajunas is now currently 7-3 with six finishes and seven fights in the UFC, not including the bouts she competed in while on the reeality show The Ultimate Fighter of which she was the finalist and faced fellow finalist Carla Esparza for the inaugural Strawweight championship back when Namajunas was just 22 years old.

Nick Peralta

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