May 9, 2018

Putting niceness into ultimate fighting

Namajunas, left, in her second triumph over Jedrejczyk, on April 7. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa/Getty

After knocking her out with a savage first round left hook in November, Rose Namajunas beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk again by unanimous decision last month, retaining the Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight title.

But that is only her career: Speaking yesterday in New York, Namajunas said she hopes to "bring more civility" into mixed martial arts, and banish the trash-talking and threats that characterize the sport. Fighters, she said, should be "nice to each other, nicer to themselves."

Namajunas was speaking on stage at the Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything festival. Fighters "should just be themselves," she said. "If you are aggressive, keep that in the cage."

  • Punctuating her point, former UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor faces trial next month in New York for attacking a bus in which Namajunas and other fighters were riding three days before her title rematch. Two fighters were injured.

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A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Local news footage captured a tanker truck appearing to drive toward protesters at a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, as demonstrators quickly got out of the way of the incoming vehicle on Sunday evening.

The big picture: Protests have continued across the country for six days, as demonstrators call for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other other black Americans who have died in police custody or who have been killed in racist attacks.

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Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").