RIO DE JANEIRO -- Who’s the next Ronda Rousey?
The UFC will crown the first women’s strawweight champion on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, and UFC president Dana White is excited with this season of the reality show.
"You guys are going to be blown away. There's a Ronda Rousey on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, absolutely," White recently said during a media scrum at UFC 177.
"I called it from the very beginning. As soon as I saw her, I saw this girl is special," she continued. "I’ve been following her for two years. I only finally got to meet her. I’ve been stalking her on Instagram for year. It was so great to be able to meet her, and I wish her all the luck. I can’t wait to see how she does in the season."
Namajunas made her professional MMA debut in January 2013, tapping Emily Kagan with a rear-naked choke at Invicta FC 4. Three months later, "Thug" locked a flying armbar in 12 seconds to beat Kathina Catron. In her final Invicta FC bout before entering The Ultimate Fighter house, Namajunas lost to Tecia Torres by decision.
"She’s got an amazing skill set, she’s an exciting fighter. She takes risks, she’s gorgeous, and she’s charismatic," Rousey said. "I really think she has all the tools that are needed in order to be the next really influential champion."