Joanna Changes Her Tune On “Thug” Rose, Releases Direct Message To The Champ

When “Thug” Rose Namajunas and Joanna first squared off at UFC 217, the last thing on Joanna’s mind was losing.

Ahead of the bout, we saw a confident and brash Joanna taunt and torment Rose Namajunas all the way up until fight night.

The self proclaimed “Boogey woman” did anything and everything she wanted to to Rose, even putting her fist right on her face during one of the UFC’s pre-fight press conferences.

With seemingly no respect for her opponent, Joanna would go on to lose her fight via knockout in the very first round of action.

Now, with a rematch booked for this weekend’s UFC 223 co-main event, Joanna has changed her tune on her rival, and instead of being brash and insulting, she’s being complimentary and respectful.

Check it out: (Via

“I have a new challenge and I’m very happy. There is no pressure on me. I’m never nervous about fight week, big fights, because the hard work is done so many weeks, days before the fight. I’m enjoying this, and I look at things differently. I used to say that I want to be undefeated, I wanted to retire undefeated. I don’t care about this anymore. I saw that I love my life more, and fighting is just part of my life. People wanted me to, like, be sad, cry, and hide after I lost. No.

“Guys, you have a job, I have a job to do. It’s part of my life. Soon I will stop fighting and I will do something else. I will be a mother, I will have some businesses, I will do some other stuff, and it’s just part of my life. I’m 100 percent in, but let’s not get crazy. That I lost, it’s not the end of the world. For other people it could be, but not for me.”

“It’s real, and I was afraid of that. And I didn’t know enough, but now I feel like, just deal with it, and I’m not afraid of losing. It’s not going to happen, but I’m not afraid of losing. I want people to see me as a human, that I was not only born for being at the top. I was born for that, but not only for this — I’m real, you can touch me. I’m real, I’m not created. [Dominick Cruz is a] perfect example [of how to deal with a loss].

“I want to dedicate this fight to people who have failed, and they don’t have the strength to rise. I want to show to them that even if you fell from the highest [stage], you can rise, you can be back. Take you life in your hands, man. Go through every day and rise. It’s life. It’s life, that’s the thing.”

“The last fight made me more into it. I want to fight even longer.”

“I love it. I think everything happens for a reason.”

“I have even more respect for Rose than I had after the last press conference on the phone last week. Someone asked her if she believes me that it was the weight cut, she said yes. Thank you for that, for understanding. We all are fighters. And they are weak, the people who are [criticizing] this — they are weak, because I didn’t give up. I took my job and I did my job. I was on weight on the day of the weigh-ins. I took this fight, even [when people were saying] I should go to the hospital, take an IV, or maybe even not fight. But I wanted to do this, for the people who came to the show and who purchased the pay-per-view.

“I wanted to give the people what they came for and what they were looking for, but it changed me. I pay more attention [now] to everything and every single person in my team. But I’m very happy that I’m surrounded by real people. I feel free.”

“I don’t want to take anything from Rose, but this is what Mikey Brown said, a legend: It’s easy to win a short fight. It’s nothing bad — people want to see KOs, submissions, short fights, explosive — but going through big wars, that’s the thing. What do you remember? My [favorite] fight is Robbie Lawler, Rory MacDonald. But that’s thing, I want to have a chance to show to people: I’m here for a reason, and I’m back for a reason.

“And I don’t know, I have so much respect for Rose, it’s going to be interesting if she can do this again, because I’m going to be 100 percent. She won the battle, but she’s not going to win the war. All the respect. Let’s have the best fight of this year, female fight of the year. What about this, Rose?”