Mitchell Hooper, the Canadian strongman and kinesiologist, made history by securing 1st place at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Notably, he became the first Canadian to win the Final in the history of the World’s Strongest Man event. Hooper’s achievements didn’t stop there; he also emerged victorious at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic, making him one of only four individuals to achieve this impressive feat in the same year.
Meanwhile, Rose Namajunas, known for her successful strawweight career, held the UFC’s undisputed 115-pound champion title on two occasions and boasts two wins over the current titleholder, Zhang Weili. However, after losing the belt to Carla Esparza at UFC 274 in May, the 31-year-old “Thug Rose” has decided to transition to flyweight. The idea of moving up to the 125lbs division was first brought up by Namajunas in August 2022, approximately three months after losing the title.
Recently, Namajunas has been bulking up for her move to the flyweight division, aiming to showcase her skills in a new weight class. In a fascinating twist, she shared a video featuring a grappling session with none other than the World’s Strongest Man, Mitchell Hooper. Hooper, weighing an impressive 320 lb (145 kg), likely exceeds Namajunas’ weight by twofold.
During the grappling session, Hooper engaged with former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, an exciting crossover between two powerhouse athletes. Hooper playfully captioned the video “The Hooper School of Self Defense vs. UFC legend @rosenamajunas… let’s call it a draw?” Such sessions offer a unique opportunity for athletes from different disciplines to test their skills against each other.
Not stopping there, Hooper also took on Namajunas’ fiancé, former UFC star Pat Barry. Given Barry’s background as a heavyweight, he faced less of a disadvantage compared to the lighter Namajunas. Hooper deserves recognition for his composure during the sparring session, as it likely required significant restraint on his part to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Interestingly, such sparring sessions are not uncommon in the world of combat sports. In the past, Conor McGregor shared footage of sparring with Thor Bjornosson, and Dustin Poirier rolled with Brian Shaw. Even ADCC winner Gordon Ryan has had his share of sparring, having engaged with Thor Bjornsson before a previous competition at the UFC invitational.
These unique cross-discipline encounters provide a fascinating insight into the world of combat sports and showcase the camaraderie and mutual respect among athletes from various backgrounds. As Hooper, Namajunas, and Barry continue to push their limits and explore new challenges, fans eagerly anticipate the exciting developments that lie ahead.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.