Rose Namajunas could lay claim to the UFC’s inaugural, strawweight championship tonight, and the 22 year-old believes it would mark the next step in her path to becoming a crossover star.
Now, part of the reasons there’s been all this crossover talk etc, is because not long ago, UFC boss man Dana White said that TUF 20 featured another Ronda Rousey. Namajunas went on to record three straight, submission wins during the show and will fight Carla Esparza tonight for the strawweight belt. Rousey, you will recall, has also been known to record a tap-out victory here and there.
Rousey herself, has also heaped praise on Namajunas, which is another reason why “Thug” has been compared to the bantamweight champ and mainstream star.
So, when Namajunas was asked this week whether she sees her career going the same way as Rousey’s, the strawweight stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I feel like I’ve been doing such a good job at such a young age and so early on in my career, I have a lot of time to really develop myself as a person and getting more experience with it,” Namajunas said. “If it doesn’t happen right now, it’s definitely going to happen eventually.”
“I feel like I have some shoes to fill,” Namajunas said, while referring to Rousey. “She’s definitely up there and it’s going to take me some time just to develop it. It’s coming a lot faster than I was expecting.”
Sure, Namajunas has yet to win the belt, and her official record currently is just 2-1, but clearly folks believe she has the potential to be a big star. Recently she was signed by Kevin Harvick Inc. management company, who also represent Miesha Tate and Donald Cerrone.
The TUF 20 Finale will be hosted by the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will also feature Jeremy Stephens taking on Charles Oliveira.
Some of the other bouts set for the card include KJ Noons vs. Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor vs. Yancy Medeiros, and Jessica Penne vs. Randa Markos.