We’ve chronicled a lot of the shenanigans Rose Namajunas has been getting up to lately with her beau Pat Barry, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that she was fighting on tonight’s Invicta FC 5 card. CagePotato snagged some prime sponsorship real estate and also got an interview with the up and coming strawweight:
CAGEPOTATO.COM: First of all, who gave you the nickname “Thug”?
Rose Namajunas: My neighborhood friends. When I was little, I was the only white girl, I was smaller than everyone else, and for some reason I just acted harder than everybody else — just fearless, you know? So they kind of dubbed me that because of the intimidating scowl I always had on my face. That’s what gave me that name.
I’ve noticed that scowl before your fights, and even in your weigh-ins. Do you have to get yourself into that Thug-mode — is it a separate persona — or are you that intense all the time?
That’s just one aspect of my personality. I have a playful, fun-loving side, and I also have a very sensitive and emotional side to my personality. But it’s definitely one of the main things that most strangers will pick off of me from a first impression, that I really come off as this intimidating type of person. Like I said, it’s just one aspect of my personality, but I’m always practicing a staredown with strangers. Even going to the grocery store, I might mean-mug somebody just to see if I get a weird feeling from them. It’s practice. And I think that’s one thing that fighters don’t really practice that much, is their intimidation and their mind games, and the intimidating looks that you can give to people. It really can win or lose you the fight if you have that down. Mike Tyson was phenomenal at that game, of intimidating his opponents — he won the fight before it even started.