Rose Namajunas hopes to build on what Ronda Rousey has done for WMMA

Image courtesy of Rose Namajunas

Rose Namajunas, 20, and making her pro debut, hopes to make an impact at Invicta IV.

Invicta FC has had a fantastic freshman year. Under the strict, meticulous control of Shannon Knapp, the promotion saw three very successful events in 2012, and will be having a graduation of sorts on January 5th, with their very first PPV stream. The largest part of the promotion's success is obviously the talent pool, which is a gathering of some of the most elite female athletes in the world. It's a place where the ladies are given a platform of their own to shine on.

One such athlete, who's recently been making some noise on the amateur circuit and will make her pro debut at Invicta FC IV, is Rose Namajunas. At only 20 years old, she already has a pristine, 4-0 amateur record, and will debut against tough, 2-0 Emily Kagan. I recently spoke with Rose about her upcoming breakout on the women's MMA scene and life with the crowd pleasing, Pat Barry (her boyfriend).

Invicta

I think what Invicta is doing is just a beautiful thing. We're being given an amazing opportunity, whereas before, we had to struggle just to get on a regular card, and outperform ourselves, just because all these other men are fighting on the same card. Even then, a lot of the times, the women's fights ended up being more exciting than the men's fights. Invicta is featuring nothing but women, and giving us all a chance to shine. Their crowd atmosphere is so much different than any other organization that I've been to. Everyone is so much more supportive of the athletes. It's just really awesome.

Escaping the shadow of Pat Barry

I definitely want to be known for more than just being with him. I mean, obviously, the world has no choice but to mention his name when mine is in the picture, but eventually, it's got to be just about me. When I knock some people out, it'll be all about me [laughs]. It's cool with me and all, but having my name mentioned because of what I do, rather than just attached to his name is probably better.

Career future and children

I don't know how you can get in the ring with a two month old baby or whatever. It might be kind of difficult to focus on a fight if you have this little baby to think about. I don't know. I definitely want to see where I am. I'm so young right now, and a lot of women are way older than me, and they're just making their pro debut. It's definitely something that I've thought about, but I don't like to have a road map of my life. I'm not one of those women that says, 'When I'm 20 years old, I'm gonna get married. When I'm 25 years old, I'm gonna have kids.' I'm just not one of those types of people. We have been talking about getting a dog, though [laughs].

Emily Kagan

From what I have seen of her online fight footage, she's a lefty, she's gonna be shorter than I am, and she might be coming in pretty big for the fight, because she has fought at 125 and 135. This is her first time at 115. She has a big overhand left, but other than that, I think she's going to go for the takedown, and maybe try for some ground and pound.

Especially coming from Greg Jackson's camp, with the reputation that they have. I'm not trying to talk bad about them, but a lot of people have criticized them for having a gameplan or strategy that's about getting the win without really trying to get a finish. I don't know if that's necessarily true or not, but all those things tie in together, combined with the fact that her last couple of fights have been decision wins. Obviously, I need to be prepared for anything. I'm still going in there with the same mentality of, I'm going in there to finish you.

Ronda Rousey

She's definitely an inspiration, and I find that a lot of what comes out in her interviews, I can relate to. Her mentality, and that intimidation factor ... she's going in there to kill you, pretty much. I can relate to that, and I do look up to her, in that aspect, and in what she's been able to do. She's opened the gate for a lot of women, and I respect that. I plan to build on that and add to it. The possibilities are endless.

You can follow Rose via her Twitter account, @RoseNamajunas

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