Rose Namajunas took the world by storm with her performance in the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, which featured the UFC’s inaugural class of strawweights. Rose was under the tutelage of the Skrap Pack’s own Gilbert Melendez, and during the show, the 22-year-old fighter defeated Alex Chambers by rear-naked choke, Joanne Calderwood by kimura, and Randa Markos also by kimura. She did so well during the season that she was dubbed the “Next Ronda Rousey”.
Unfortunately, Rose fell short in her official UFC debut, losing to Carla Esparza by rear-naked choke in the third round at the TUF Finale in December of last year. That night Esparza became the UFC’s first and only strawweight champion.
Before that, “Thug” Rose lost to rising star Tecia Torres at Invicta FC 6, in July of 2013.
Now, Rose Namajunas has a chance to earn her very first Ultimate Fighting Championship victory. The world’s premiere mixed martial arts promotion announced this week that Rose will be fighting American Top Team representative Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff at UFC 187, on May 23rd, on a card that is mightily stacked with spectacular combats, including title fights between light heavyweights Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson, as well as between middleweights Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman. Beyond that, the night also holds contests between Cowboy Cerrone and Khabib Nurmagomedov, Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski, and between Joe Benavidez and John Moraga among others.
Nina Ansaroff, who has a professional record of six wins and four losses, also fell short at her UFC debut, losing to Brazilian Juliana de Lima Carneiro at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. St. Preux. Before that, however, Nina was able to score five wins in a row, all of which came in the form of finishes, be that by KO, TKO or submission—she scored all of them.
The fight marks another step in the cementing of a competitive and deep strawweight class, which has another remarkable fight in its horizon, as Paige Van Zant is slated to face Felice Herrig this upcoming April 18th, in Newark, New Jersey, for UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Rockhold.
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