Namajunas to Defend Against Andrade at UFC 237 in Brazil
Having spent much of 2018 on the side lines, Rose Namajunas’ next fight has been confirmed. The UFC strawweight champion will be defending her title against Jessica Andrade at UFC 237.
The event is pencilled in for May 11 in Brazil, however a location and venue are still to be determined. Brett Okamoto of ESPN broke the news via Twitter on Monday.
Breaking: Rose Namajunas will defend her strawweight title against Jessica Andrade in enemy territory, at UFC 237 on May 11 in Brazil, per Dana White. More coming to @ESPN shortly. pic.twitter.com/7vgsbJ9mXG
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 8, 2019
Namajunas won the strawweight title in 2017 with a stunning first round TKO of Joanna Jedrzejczyk. It was a fight few believed the 26-year-old could win, but a second victory over Jedrzejczyk in April 2018 secured Namajunas’ status as world number one and UFC champion.
Since then the fighter has been nursing the mental scars left by Conor McGregor’s attack on the fighter bus at UFC 223. Namajunas stated that she even considered pulling out of her title defense against Jedrzejczyk that weekend, before going on to enter the octagon and defend her title.
The bout with Andrade will be Namajunas’ second title defence in a run that has seen her hand raised six times in seven UFC outings since her stint on The Ultimate Fighter in 2014.
Jessica Andrade approaches the bout in the best form of her career. Three successive wins against world class opposition have moved Andrade ahead of the chasing pack at strawweight.
Decision victories against Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres, were followed by a brutal knockout of Karolina Kowalkiewicz in September.
Like Namajunas — who was beaten by Carla Esparza in her first UFC title fight — Andrade will be fighting for UFC gold for the second time. In May 2017 the Brazilian powerhouse came up short against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, losing by unanimous decision in a largely one-sided contest.
With that experience behind her, and the support of a passionate home crowd in Brazil, Andrade may never have a better opportunity to become UFC champion.