Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

On the floor, Rose Namajunas’ life is fairly nice. She’s one of the vital well-liked feminine fighters in MMA historical past, a former two-time UFC strawweight champion, and was a finalist on “The Final Fighter” actuality present.

These are accolades most athletes may solely dream of, however the story behind that story is certainly one of emotional devastation, abuse and heartbreak. Namajunas has been in a position to spin all these hardships right into a driving drive, although, and turned her story into certainly one of perseverance, positivity and inspiration.

All these issues are tied collectively in “Thug Rose: Combined Martial Artist,” a brand new 90-minute documentary movie that premiers Nov. 9 on UFC Combat Go. It’s directed and produced by Marius Markevicius, who began following Namajunas’ life carefully in 2017 and crafted a format to finest inform her story to the world.

“Marius and I related rather well after I first gained the belt (from Joanna Jedrzejczyk) again in 2017,” Namajunas instructed MMA Junkie forward of the movie’s upcoming launch. “It was form of a leap of religion in his half in investing the time and interviewing me, and we form of persevered over the previous few years to get the financing and placing the items collectively.”

Namajunas and Markevicius are each of Lithuanian descent, and so they immediately bonded whereas beginning work on this venture. It required a variety of sacrifice, vulnerability and dedication to create. Though Namajunas has revealed items of her previous via the years within the highlight as an elite fighter, the documentary presents extra depth than ever earlier than.

“She’s talked about lots in her profession, however the objective was to go one degree deeper and let Rose inform her story in a single unified and cohesive place,” Markevicius stated. “And have it in her personal phrases as an alternative of in every single place by a complete bunch of different individuals. That was form of a mission.”

It’s one factor for Namajunas to inform her story, which incorporates overcoming bodily abuse, the demise of her father at 16 and the challenges of thriving in a largely male-dominated sport. The movie goes past her personal phrases, nevertheless, and presents perception from relations, coaches, teammates, and others who’ve been by her facet.

“That was positively a really tough factor,” Namajunas stated. “I positively learn the way a lot my household loves me, nevertheless it’s a therapeutic course of for all of us, as a result of we’ve been via lots. Simply to see that come out on movie, I don’t know. It’s onerous to explain.”

Though the movie shines a lightweight on the difficulties of Namajunas’ life, it additionally presents how she’s internalized these moments and spun them into one thing good. Many individuals have crumbled after enduring comparable hardship to Namajunas, however she stated a key motivation in creating the movie was to point out that it doesn’t must be that manner.

“With the ability to forgive others or your self and acknowledge that we’re not excellent, and people are just a few vital parts,” Namajunas stated. “With the ability to take such onerous issues and switch it into gold. … It doesn’t at all times must be doom and gloom. That could be a half – there’s the highs and lows. So I feel capturing these low moments is what simply makes the excessive moments even higher.”

Namajunas (11-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) fairly actually did flip her path into gold by successful the UFC title on two events. However even when she made it to the highest, it wasn’t at all times a fairytale. She simply misplaced the 115-pound belt to Carla Esparza at UFC 274 in Might in what was one of the vital extremely criticized title bouts in UFC historical past.

The fallout of that struggle wasn’t straightforward for Namajunas, and the tip of the movie acknowledges that night time. Her phycology isn’t broken by the lack of the belt, although, and that reality solely highlights one of many underlying narratives of the movie.

“Hopefully a takeaway from the movie is you understand, win or lose, having the belt or not having the belt is definitely a small factor in Rose’s journey,” Markevicius stated. “We talked lots about what speaking about these issues can do for different individuals when it comes to sending a optimistic message and the social affect this movie may have when it comes to serving to individuals who have been via abuse, who’ve been via totally different struggles. I feel Rose’s story could be very inspirational, so we hope it does assist individuals on the market.”

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