Real Talk after a First Round KO

The Staredown: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas. (from mma-core.com)

The Staredown: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas. (from mma-core.com)

At Black Lab Sports, we spend a lot of energy identifying and investing in the right people. Beyond sales growth and business accomplishments, what matters, and what attracts us to certain founders and their teams in the first place, is the values and work ethic on which they operate. Trevor Wittman of ONX Sports is a perfect example.

There’s no question that Trevor is a phenomenal coach. Currently an 18-time world champion coach, he’s creating quite a legacy in the world of combat sports. What’s cool about Trevor though, is that his legacy is equal parts record and character—and the same goes for the athletes he trains. Last weekend’s UFC World Championship match, featuring his own Rose Namajunas in the strawweight class, was a great representation of the type of camp Trevor runs and the kinds of athletes he invests in.

Rose was a 6-1 underdog the day before the event. She was up against Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland, the #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. Joanna had been verbally vicious all week and postured herself as the heavy favorite going in. Take a look at her pre-fight staredown with Rose, and note the stark difference in their words and actions (3 minutes):

 

Now watch what happens in the ring (4 minutes). Imagine the kind of poise and self-belief that Rose needed to face an opponent who’d been thumping her chest all week long:

 

But most importantly, see how Rose handles the outcome and the message she sends afterwards (2 minutes). Rather than soaking in individual glory, she exudes humility and grace and uses her platform to do good.  *If you watch just one video, make it this one!

 

Thanks, Rose and Trevor, for using sport as a conduit for self-improvement and connection. We’re proud of all that you do, but especially the way that you do it.