Waterson brought her daughter and Rose Namajunas brought her dog to Open Workout
When Rose Namajunas took the stage for her open workout today ahead of UFC on FOX 24, she was accompanied by more than trainers. Her dog, Mishka, was up there, as well, prancing around and seemingly having a good time while Namajunas broke a sweat. The two even did some shadowboxing, according to MMAJunkie.
As Namajunas’ workout happened, you wondered if maybe she was trying to one-up Michelle Waterson, who earlier had brought her 6-year-old daughter, Araya, up on stage for her open workout.
Not only has Mishka become a regular during fight week for Namajunas, but there’s absolutely no beef between she and Waterson, evidenced by when they cross paths at the fighters’ hotel.
“Michelle and I are really cordial and stuff, but her daughter was looking at me like, “Does she know you guys are fighting? What the heck?’” Namajunas joked. “I think she’s real cute. But I dunno. Mishka, it’s a tough competition between those two.”
UFC on FOX 24 takes place at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Namajunas vs. Waterson is the co-main event, which follows prelims on FOX and UFC Fight Pass.
Namajunas has a good reason for bringing Mishka along with her.
“I train a lot. I’m always thinking about fighting. We’re always going at it in the gym,” Namajunas said, “So when we’re not training we like to keep our mind off of the fight, and we like to not overthink things too much. She keeps it light, she keeps it fun, just like my coaches do.
“I’m the type of person that’s really hard on myself. My coaches do a good job of not letting me beat myself up too much, and the same thing goes for Mishka. Every time I look at her she makes me smile.”
Namajunas hasn’t competed since last July at UFC 201, when she lost a tough split decision to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the “Fight of the Night.” Not that Namajunas has just been doing nothing.
“I’ve been staying pretty busy,” Namajunas said. “Even though y’all haven’t seen me in the octagon, I’ve been active.”
Outside of training, Namajunas said she spent a month in Indonesia, maturing and getting to know herself. The 24-year-old said she learned life lessons while there. She also spent a month training with UFC women’s bantamweight No. 1 contender Valentina Shevchenko.
Namajunas’ time away from competition helped her re-focus. And if she comes away with a win over Waterson, she’ll be looking to use that for a greater good.
“I feel like I really matured as a woman,” Namajunas said. “I feel like I really gained a, I don’t know, just a new muscle, just a new will, a reason to fight. Not just for the glory, but to use what I have to make the world a better place. Use what the universe – God, whatever you want to call it – has given me that gift to change people’s lives.”