UFC fighter Rose Namajunas's family reportedly fled communism in Lithuania and settled in America. The champion said in a recent interview with Lithuanian National Radio and Television that her experience serves as her inspiration that propels her to victory.
"The animosity and things like that, those can be very motivating factors in short moments," she was quoted saying by CBS Sports. "But in all actuality going into the fight, maybe there was certain rivalries and things like that, but I always kept myself in control."
Rose Namajunas became the new UFC strawweight champion on Saturday night. Immediately, she credited God with her victory, reported CBN News.
During an interview with Joe Rogan, Namajunas was able to reroute the flow of the audience's focus back to God.
"I did it again, but God did it," she told him. "I really just had to have faith in Him but that's what got me through."
Namajunas stunned Zhang Weili in the first round at UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida. The 28-year-old knocked out her rival with a head kick and several blows, prompting the referees to stop the bout.
She said in the interview that overcoming Weili was about more than just regaining the title she lost in May of this year, but also about overcoming a competitor who happened to be a representative of a communist regime.
"It's nothing personal against her (the opponent), but that's a huge motivating factor of why I fight, and I fight for freedom," Namajunas said during the interview. "I've got the Christ consciousness, I've got Lithuanian blood, and I've got the American dream. All of those things I'm taking with me into the fight."
Namajunas informed Rogan after Saturday's match that any anti-communist remarks she made were not aimed at anyone and that she loves everybody.
"It's just my history and my past and that's it," she clarified. "I love all people, all cultures, everybody in the world."
Her great grandfather was assassinated by the Soviets while serving in the military of Independent Lithuania. These were some of the reasons driving Namajunas to take on China's champion.
Praying for Anyone Who Needs It
In December, Namajunas gave a public prayer on YouTube to "anyone who needs it."
"I'm not a preacher or anything," she said, "but I do know the power of prayer is real."
In the prayer, she wasn't thankful for her blessings alone; she was also thankful that God didn't remove the hardships she experienced along the way. She believes that adversity helps people grow and that it teaches them to be creative in finding ways around their struggles.
She prayed for all those affected by the pandemic, including individuals and enterprises. Finally, she prayed for herself, asking that she be thankful always and that her influence will have a good effect on others.
"The power of prayer guys," she declared after she uttered her prayer. "No matter what's going on right now...there's lots of craziness, God is in the center of all that and that's where peace is found. If you can find that center, that peace in the midst of all this - that's the whole goal."