Rose Namajunas, Kailin Curran Triumphant At UFC Fight Night 80Former UFC title challenger “Thug” Rose Namajunas picked up her second official UFC victory in extremely dominant fashion tonight at UFC Fight Night 80: “Namajunas vs VanZant” in Las Vegas, Nevada. Namajunas submitted “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant in round five of the strawweight main event.

Right from the opening bell, Namajunas was in complete control of tonight’s headliner, and she battered and bloodied VanZant until she was finally able to secure the late-fight finish. Also tonight, strawweight prospect Kailin Curran earned a crucial second-round submission win over Emily Kagan.


Namajunas (4-2-0) countered an early kick from VanZant (6-2-0) with punches and knees before taking VanZant down into knee-on-belly position. She bloodied VanZant’s right cheek with elbows and scored with more punches after the fight returned to the feet. VanZant tried to throw Namajunas to the mat, but Namajunas wound up on VanZant’s back and she threatened with a rear-naked choke and more hard punches before the bell.

It was more of the same in the next three rounds, as Namajunas easily got the better of the striking exchanges and repeatedly thwarted and reversed VanZant’s throws. She took VanZant down on multiple occasions and attempted rear-naked chokes and tight armbars, but VanZant, just as she has done throughout her career, refused to submit and somehow found a way out each time. Nevertheless, she was clearly well behind on the scorecards after 20 minutes.

In round five, Namajunas scored another takedown that led to a transition to VanZant’s back. She once again trapped VanZant in a tight rear-naked choke. This time, VanZant could not escape and she was forced to tap out for the first time in her career.

Namajunas’s dominant win sent a message to the rest of the women’s strawweight division and once again established her as one of the UFC’s top 115-pound female fighters. All four of her official pro victories have come via submission and she also earned three impressive tapout wins during The Ultimate Fighter 20 this past year.

Winner: Rose Namajunas by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:25 of round five. She improves to 4-2-0.


Earlier on the card, Curran (4-2-0) rebounded from a pair of disappointing setbacks inside the Octagon by forcing Kagan (3-3-0) to submit to a second-round rear-naked choke.

The fighters traded takedowns in the opening round and Curran broke free from a clinch against the cage by landing a head kick and a flurry. Kagan tripped her late in the round, but Curran countered with a triangle choke. In round two, Curran fought off Kagan’s early clinch attempts by landing punches that bloodied Kagan’s face. Kagan replied with knees and front kicks, but Curran reversed a takedown and she secured a fight-ending rear-naked choke that left Kagan with no choice but to submit.

Curran’s first two UFC fights both started off very well for the Hawaiian, but comebacks from VanZant and Alex “Astro Girl” Chambers left Curran with a pair of third-round stoppage losses on her UFC record. Tonight’s critical victory got her back on the winning track and showcased why she entered the UFC as one of the strawweight division’s brightest prospects.

Winner: Kailin Curran by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:13 of round two. She improves to 4-2-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)