Thursday, March 14, 2013
Rose Namajunas Interview
Photos 1-5: Esther Lin/ Invicta FC
After a very successful pro debut in which Rose Namajunas scored an impressive third round submission over Emily Kagan, she returns to the Invicta cage on April 5th to take on Kathina Catron. Another impressive win by the increasingly popular Namajunas would be a springboard to bigger and bigger things.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: I have been part of martial arts and sports in general for my whole life. Since I was in kindergarten. I started in Tae-Kwon-Do and Karate and eventually moved into Jiu-Jitsu. Starting in high school I started Kickboxing and Wrestling. It all came together and now I am here at Invicta and my second pro fight.
Q: Was your family o.k. with you fighting?
A: Oh yeah! Ever since I was little I have been coming home with black eyes and bruises all over my body. Growing up in a pretty rough neighborhood where we used to wrestle and throw each other on the ground, and an older brother who would pick on me, and a dog and three cats so I was always scratched up. My mom is used to having me having scratches on my face. Even though I am pretty girl, I was always a tomboy. Her father was a champion Wrestler in Lithuania so athletics run in the family. My moms cousin was a professional female basketball player, so it is kind of expected.
Q: January you won your pro debut against Emily Kagan, how happy were you with your performance?
A: I was extremely happy. To get a submission win over a Greg Jackson student and going the distance pretty much except the last part. I got to test my will and showcase everything I have been practicing. The striking wasn't really available, I had to work on the ground a lot. We came prepared for everything and I am extremely happy with my performance.
Q: Knowing that almost every female wants to fight with Invicta, what did it mean to you to make your pro debut with them?
A: It is an honor to be a part of Invicta, it is a beautiful thing. The first Invicta that I went to, I think the second show, the vibe was totally different. It is way different than any local show and it is different from the UFC. The UFC is great, but the crowd atmosphere is so much more supportive and they aren't so picky. It is hard to watch a women's fight and not be happy because we come there to fight. It might not be as technical as the guys but we are getting there and some are outdoing the guys. Ronda Rousey is in the UFC and she could take out most of the guys in her division.
Q: You are fighting Kathina Catron, how do you feel you match up with her?
A: I match up with her great. I think she is like the last opponent I had. She is well-rounded. She doesn't have one particular stand-out strength, she is good everywhere and will come prepared for anything and so did Emily. I think I will be able to enforce my will and I out-match her in every area.
Q: She has a couple more pro fights but not on a stage like Invicta, can you having experience on such a big stage give you an advantage?
A: I guess in a way. But at the same time, I have always been on the receiving end of being an inexperienced fighter and fighting someone with more experience, so I know what it is like to come into a fight thinking the person is more experienced. It has never been a factor for me, so I am sure she might not be dealing with the same thing. She has probably been out-experienced before, so she might not even be considering it and thinking it is just another one. For me, the pressure leading up to a fight is always gonna be nerve racking, but when it comes down to it, you are in fight or flight mode and don't even think about it.
Q: Is there an area where you feel you hold the biggest advantage over her?
A: Striking and the ground. My clinch game is really climbing up there to and is something else I can showcase this time to.
Q: After the last Invicta, you were one of the fighters people were talking about, does any part of you hope that on a show with so many big names, that you not only win but come out as one of the fighters people are talking about again?
A: Yeah, I really put an effort in. It isn't just my personality or videos I put out, that is part, but I let my fight do the talking. I always try and add something new to my game, I haven't hit my prime yet and it is only more to come after this. I feel like this is a snowball and it is just rolling down the hill, and I plan to keep it that way.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: A K.O. win in my favor.
Q: Any idea what you want after this or are you just taking it one at a time?
A: Take a nap haha. Just kidding. Anyone they give me, I am happy with. Give me Cain Velasquez, I know that's not the best idea, but I will fight anybody. There are certain circumstances to consider, but anybody they want me to fight, I will fight.
Q: Who gets more nervous, you when Pat (Barry) fights, or Pat when you fight?
A: I would say probably I do. Just because I haven't come home with a broken foot or hand or in a wheelchair yet. He does me proud every time, no matter the outcome, I just wanna make sure he is healthy and can keep doing this. I haven't had any serious damage yet so he is more calm in that sense.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Thank you for this interview. Pat Barry for being my number one corner-man, Greg Nelson, Trevor Wittman, Matt Miller from Horsepower Strength and Conditioning, and Brian Butler with SuckerPunch Entertainment.