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UFC to present the world premiere of 'Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist' at the 29th annual Austin Film Festival

Documentary chronicles the inspiring journey of the two-time UFC strawweight champion and debuts on UFC Fight Pass on November 9.
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LAS VEGAS and AUSTIN, Texas – UFC, the world's premier mixed martial arts organization, and the Austin Film Festival, the premier film festival recognizing the contributions of writers and filmmakers to film, television, and new media, announced today that the UFC Originals film "Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist" will have its world premiere at the 29th Annual Austin Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 30. The screening will be held at the prestigious State Theater in downtown Austin at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Marius Markevicius, "Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist" chronicles the inspiring journey of professional fighter and two-time UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, who, after experiencing an abusive childhood, became an advocate for mental wellness, an avid environmentalist, and a concert-level pianist – all while gaining international acclaim as one of the fiercest MMA competitors in the world. The film documents her circuitous path to success and spotlights Namajunas' rare combination of ferocity, artistry, and vulnerability. 

 The documentary is produced by Markevicius ("The Other Dream Team") Jon Weinbach ("The Last Dance," "The Redeem Team") and Noah Pollack ("Basketball Wives") UFC's Dana White, Craig Borsari and Chris Kartzmark serve as executive producers.

UFC president of Dana White stated: "I am so excited that the Austin Film Festival is recognizing 'Thug Rose' and the outstanding work from our UFC Fight Pass production team. Huge honor. I know UFC fans are going to love 'Thug Rose' when they see it at the world premiere later this month."

The film's subject, UFC superstar Rose Namajunas (a.k.a. "Thug Rose") will be attending the world premiere in Austin, while Namajunas and the film's director, Marius Markevicius, will be on the red carpet prior to the screening and will take part in a Q&A immediately afterwards.

Following its premiere at the Austin Film Festival, the film will make its streaming debut on UFC Fight Pass, the world's leading streaming service for combat sports, on Wednesday, Nov. 9. 

" Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist" was produced by UFC Originals as a marquee title to be featured on Fight Pass.

Namajunas was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She started her professional MMA career in 2013 and made her UFC debut in 2014. After a series of impressive victories, Namajunas earned the opportunity to challenge the UFC women's strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 in Madison Square Garden, where Namajunas put away the champ in the first round via TKO, becoming the new UFC women's strawweight champion. 

After successfully defending the title in a rematch with Jedrzejczyk, Namajunas lost the strawweight championship to Jessica Andrade in her next bout. After a scary knockout slam by Andrade, it would be a full year before "Thug Rose" returned to the octagon. After defeating Andrade in her first fight back, Namajunas once again earned a shot at the UFC women's strawweight championship, knocking out Zhang Weili in the first round, becoming the first-ever two-time UFC women's strawweight champion. She also became the first woman in UFC history to regain her championship title after losing it. Rising to the occasion each time she competes, Namajunas proves what she yells during her walk to the octagon: that she truly is one of the best.

Markevicius is an award-winning filmmaker and president of Sorrento Productions, a production company based in Santa Monica, Calif. Prior to "Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist," his previous directorial credits included "The Other Dream Team," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and which was nominated for Best Documentary of the Year by the Producer's Guild of America. He also directed "Ashes in the Snow," the narrative film adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel "Between Shades of Gray."  Markevicius also served as a producer on "Like Crazy," the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning film starring Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence. He attended UCLA where he received a master's degree in fine arts from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.