While being introduced into the Octagon at UFC 261, Rose Namajunas told herself she was the best. Now she has the gold to prove it.
Namajunas reclaimed the UFC Women's Strawweight title on Saturday night, defeating Zhang Weili in impressive fashion. The 28-year-old, nicknamed "Thug Rose," caught Weili with a head kick that incapacitated the champion and followed up with a series of hammerfists before referee Keith Peterson stepped in at 1:18 of round one. Weili protested the stoppage arguing she wasn't knocked out, but replays seemed to prove otherwise.
An emotional Namajunas broke down in tears after reclaiming the belt she last held almost two years ago. Namajunas was the women's strawweight champion from November 2017 to May 2019 (554 days) when she was stopped by Jéssica Andrade with a brutal knockout slam.
After defeating Andrade by split decision in a rematch last July, Namajunas was ready to fight for the belt again. With renewed focus, Namajunas finally found herself atop the mountain again.
"I am the best!" Namajunas proclaimed after the fight. "I did it again. I really just had to have faith in [God] and that's what got me through."
This was Weili's second attempt at defending the title. She had previously defended the strawweight belt against Joanna Jędrzejczyk in March 2020 and hadn't lost a match in 21-straight fights. Her last MMA loss came in November 2013, which was her first professional fight in the China MMA League. Is Weili in line for an immediate rematch?