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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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