Number four ranked strawweight contender Rose “Thug” Namajunas shocked the world in one of three scheduled title fights for UFC 217 when she defeated undefeated champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk via knockout at just 3:03 in the first round at the world-famous arena Madison Square Garden in the New York City.
Namajunas originally fought for the title in the final matchup against Carla Esparza at The Ultimate Fighter Finale in which she lost via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:26 in round three. After the confrontation, Namajunas looked as if she may never see a chance at gold again, but she got right back on her feet and went on a three-fight win streak by defeating Angela Hill, Paige VanZant and Tecia Torres (who she had previously lost to in Invicta). She saw a close lost to Karolina Kowalkiewicz via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) then made another comeback by defeating Michelle Waterson earning her another crack at the belt and this time she proved to the world she is a force to be reckoned with.
Now that she is the champion and created one of the biggest upsets of the year and the fact the year is coming close to an end leaves fans around the world to wonder if Namajunas will see her first ‘Upset of the Year’.
There has been a lot which took place this year, from Robert Whittaker knocking out Ronaldo Souza to Colby Covington demolishing Demian Maia. Yes, a lot indeed, but Namajunas looks to be taking the title for ‘Upset of the Year’ and it starts with the odds for Namajunas was a +400 underdog heading into the fight where Jedrzejczyk was a -600 favorite with her well-rounded Muay Thai and kickboxing combinations making her seem unbeatable among the other strawweight competitors. Well, that is just the point as Jedrzejczyk has not only an impressive mixed martial arts career but an impressive kickboxing and Muay Thai career where she complied records of 27-3 and 37-3 proving she is possibly the deadliest striker among female fighters.
Still not impressed, well what if you were to know Namajunas held a record of 6-3 before the bout with five of her victories coming by a way of submission and one via decision making her a well-rounded grappler. That is right, a grappler, a grappler knocked out a striker in the very first round where one would figure the opposite would take place.
Now this might not be as big of an upset compared to Matt Serra defeating Georges St-Pierre via TKO, Michael Bisping knocking out Luke Rockhold or Holly Holm knocking out Ronda Rousey and it probably never will be, but it still deserves its praise and based on all the statistics going into this fight it makes perfect sense this fight just might make the headline for ‘Upset of the Year’.
Though, there are still a few more events to take place by year’s end they really don’t seem to have many fights that could possibly surpass the upset Namajunas performed in front of the Big Apple.