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Ahead of her UFC 223 rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk, UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas sat down for an extended, exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com managing editor Ken Pishna.
Namajunas was a heavy underdog going into her UFC 217 match-up with then-undefeated champion Jedrzejczyk last year in New York. She suffered through weeks of abuse from the mouth of the champion. Namajunas persevered, blocking out the negativity and imposing her will, taking out the champ 3:03 into their fight, and walked away with the belt.
It was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Jedrzejczyk had been on the fast-track to tying Ronda Rousey‘s record for most UFC title defenses by a woman.
Namjunas, however, had her own chapter to write in annals of UFC history.
She had already emerged from The Ultimate Fighter as a surprising finalist for the inaugural strawweight title. She failed to get the win, but it only served to lead Namajunas on a road of self-discovery, helping her grown into the fighter that was able to dethrone Jedrzejczyk.
Now, on the cusp of an immediate rematch with Jedrzejcy in the UFC 223 co-main event on April 7 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Namajunas sat down at her gym, 303 Training Center in Denver, for an exclusive one-on-one interview with MMAWeekly.com.
Namajunas recounted the lead-up to her victory over Jedrzejczyk, diving deep into the emotional aspects of her training and preparation that carried her into the strongest performance of her career. She also discussed her moving, emotional post-fight interview that has inspired many, and talked about the lead-up to the rematch, and what she expects out of her Polish foe as they enter the Octagon for a second consecutive fight.
Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on April 7 for UFC 223: Ferguson vs. Khabib Live Results and Full Fight Stats. In addition to the Namajunas vs. Jedrzejczyk rematch, the UFC 223 main event pits interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson against undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed UFC lightweight title.