- A fight between UFC women’s Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and no. 1 ranked contender Jessica Andrade headlines Saturday’s UFC 237 fight card
- Can Jessica Andrade’s power and output match up against Namajunas’ well-rounded and tactical style?
- Will the time off and hostile environment in Brazil affect the champion?
The UFC heads to Rio de Janeiro this weekend for its annual Brazil pay-per-view event. UFC 237 takes place at Jeunesse Arena.
In the main event, Rose Namajunas attempts to make her second successful defense of the UFC women’s Strawweight title. Her opponent, Jessica Andrade, looks to win the title she was unable to acquire in her first UFC title fight. Namajunas won the belt in November 2017 with a first-round knockout victory over the previously unbeaten Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217. She then defended the belt in April 2018 with a unanimous decision win over Jedrzejczyk at UFC 223. Andrade lost a unanimous decision to then-champion Jedrzejczyk in May 2017.
Namajunas has not fought since her decision win over Jedrzejczyk. Andrade has run off three straight wins since she failed to dethrone the then-champion. Her most recent victory was a September 2018 first-round knockout win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
UFC 237: Namajunas vs Andrade Odds
|Fighter||Spread at Bovada|
*Odds taken 05/07/19
Andrade is a striker, who possesses an incredible amount of strength for the 115-pound division. Since she dropped to strawweight, she has put up some impressive numbers. Her rate of 7.36 significant strikes landed per minute is the highest output in the history of the division. As for her strength, she uses that to great effect in racking up takedowns. Andrade has taken her strawweight opponents down 20 times in the UFC. No 115-pounder has more takedowns than Andrade.
Namajunas is incredibly confident and her team is focused on helping her maximize her abilities, which are significant even without the excellent coaching of Trevor Wittman and his crew. I would fully expect that her team has dissected Andrade’s game and trained their fighter to do everything she can to use her own sharp striking to counter the ferocious attack of her forward-moving opponent, especially with her head kicks, which Namajunas utilizes well thanks to her advantage in height and leg reach.
Namajunas is also a threat on the ground if the fight does go there. She has more submissions in the strawweight division than any other 115-pounder.
The wildcard in this matchup is the fact that Namajunas has not fought in more than 13 months and that she will be competing for the first time in her career outside of the United States.
Namajunas vs Andrade Tale of the Tape
|Rose Namajunas||Category||Jessica Andrade|
|115 pounds||Weight||115 pounds|
|3.72||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||6.58|
|3.72||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||5.04|
|2.34||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||3.2|
|0.9||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.5|
Andrade does have a path to victory here and that path is with her striking power and volume. If she can get inside on her taller opponent, she could score a knockout. The problem with that is that Namajunas faced down Jedrzejczyk on two occasions and got the best of her. Not only is Jedrzejczyk recognized as the best striker in the Strawweight division, but she is looked at as one of the best strikers in the sport.
Namajunas is very well-rounded, very disciplined and very well coached. I do expect that Andrade will have her moments of success in the striking department, but as the fight wears on it’ll be Namajunas who takes control and emerges as the defending champion.
Pick: Rose Namajunas (+100)