Editor's note: The following was submitted by Fightful.com reader, Daniel Macias.
“I feel like a normal person, man, that’s it. I’m regular.” Rose Namajunas continued the current trend of Visualization in combat sports in her post-fight interview after capturing the UFC’s Women’s Strawweight Championship Belt on an ealy November evening at UFC 217. Obtaining a championship in the UFC is often attributed to greatness, but Rose’s mantra before, during, and after the fight demonstrates very little interest in it. Rose Namajunas is in pursuit of stability.
Rose was open about her and her family’s struggle with mental health during the pre-fight conference call. “My family has been torn apart. My dad died, and he wasn’t in my life because he had schizophrenia. It’s been something my entire family has been fighting against since I can remember."
For those afflicted --I suffer from severe anxiety-- Rose’s message was a soothing reflection from an empathetic mirror. She has embraced mental illness and -much like in her fights- is ready to counter. Rose is the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion, but has started to champion for mental illness awareness.
I expect the UFC to take a progressive stance and support Rose Namajunas’ efforts as they did for Fight Week for UFC 200 with the We Are All Fighters campaign in which the main event featured an open homosexual challenger in Amanda Nunes.
Though you may be lucky enough not to directly know the effects of mental illness, it is highly likely you know someone who does. So I implore you to embrace the opportunity and help the cause in any way you can.
“I’m regular.” You are anything but. You are our champion, in full bloom.