UFC Documentary Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist Debuting at Austin Film Festival Before Launching on Fight Pass (EXCLUSIVE)

UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas’s life story will be the subject of “Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist,” a new documentary that will debut at the Austin Film Festival before premiering on Fight Pass, the combat sport’s official streaming service. The film was produced by UFC, which hopes it will be the first of many such projects.

“We want to do as many these as we possibly can,” Crowley Sullivan, vice president and general manager of Fight Pass, told Variety. “Throughout the history of this sport there are all kinds of personalities and accomplishments that we want to highlight. There are so many stories of athletes rising from modest beginnings to become iconic figures that we want to tell.”

That’s certainly the case with Namajunas, the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, who overcame an abusive childhood and tough economic circumstances, to become one of the fiercest competitors in the world and the first woman in UFC history to regain her championship title after losing it. She has used her platform to become an advocate for mental wellness and an avid environmentalist. To tell her story, UFC Originals enlisted Marius Markevicius, the filmmaker behind “The Other Dream Team,” which looked at the Bronze Medal-winning 1992 Lithuanian men’s basketball team.

“This film takes you through the adversity and triumphs,” says Chris Kartzmark, SVP of production and programming at UFC. “We see here struggling with the weight of being a champion. And what’s so interesting about Rose is that she’s as compelling in defeat as she is in victory.”

“Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist” will have its world premiere on Oct. 30 at the Austin Film Festival. Namajunas will be attending the world premiere in Austin and will take part in a Q&A immediately afterwards along with Markevicius. The film will debut on Fight Pass on Nov. 9. 

The documentary is produced by Markevicius, Jon Weinbach (“The Last Dance”) and Noah Pollack (“Basketball Wives). UFC President Dana White, UFC EVP of Operations and Production Craig Borsari, and Kartzmark serve as executive producers. 

“I am so excited that the Austin Film Festival is recognizing ’Thug Rose; and the outstanding work from our UFC Fight Pass production team,” White said. “Huge honor. I know UFC fans are going to love ’Thug Rose’ when they see it at the world premiere later this month.” 

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