“This one, I’d say was probably the toughest fight in just build-up, and training camp was the toughest I’ve ever had. There’s been many times I wanted to quit and not show up for my job, but I had to be professional no matter how I felt. I’m just really proud of myself and believing in myself, and I’m really thankful for my coaches [who] really just stuck behind me and made me believe in myself… I was pushing myself to the physical limit everyday. It was really hard for me mentally, though, to give into training and be positive and really just pat myself on the back. I was so hard on myself this training camp, just constantly being negative to the point where I wanted to almost just make myself quit. This was such a mental fight for me, more than anything else, especially with the history we had.”
-Rose Namajunas talks about the difficulty of her training camp into UFC on Fox 19 during the post-fight show on Fox Sports 1 (via FoxSports.com).
Penick’s Analysis: Namajunas wasn’t entirely on her game in this fight. She was hesitant, and it took her a while to get into a rhythm. She looked great in the second round when she seemed more comfortable and confident in her game, but that slowed in the third once again and made the fight a bit murkier. Most fighters have to get past psychological barriers to compete at their best – this is a very tough mental sport at this level – and it’s great to see that she got herself through it on this one. With that said, she may need to find a more effective way to approach things rather than driving herself with the negative. That won’t help her if a title fight is at the end of that next training camp.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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