Rose Namajunas turned in a sensational performance in Kansas City on Saturday night to score arguably the biggest win of her professional career thus far, submitting former Invicta FC atomweight champion Michelle Waterson.
‘Thug’ Rose procured the tap from Waterson with a rear-naked choke in the second round, shortly after she drilled ‘The Karate Hottie’ with a perfectly timed head-kick.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) April 16, 2017
It was Namajunas’ third victory in four fights, with her only loss during that stretch coming via split decision to recent UFC strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz last July. It’s unlikely that the win will move Namajunas beyond fourth spot in the UFC strawweight rankings, where she sat prior to the fight, but she may well be next in line for a shot at the title regardless.
Two of the women ranked above her, Kowalkiewicz and Claudia Gadelha, received title shots in the last twelve months and were beaten fairly comfortably by champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The other, Jessica Andrade, is already booked to face Jedrzejczyk next month. Unless Andrade beats Jedrzejczyk or runs her extremely close, scenarios likely to result in a rematch, the UFC will be looking for a fresh, interesting and in-form challenger for the belt.
Rose fits that description.
At the post-fight press conference on Saturday night, Namajunas was asked whether or not she wants the title shot to come in her very next outing. In answering that question, Rose hilariously shared a little too much information, resulting in some giggles in the media room, including from the fighter herself.
You can watch the clip below, courtesy of MMAFighting.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 16, 2017
While Namajunas charges on toward a possible title tilt, Waterson’s own momentum has been brought to a screeching halt. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the Jackson-Wink fighter, who has endured much frustration over the last couple of years, with injuries and opponent withdrawals keeping her inactive. A win over Paige VanZant in December looked to be a turning point for the 31-year-old but she will now be forced to rebuild once again.