Jessica Andrade stuns Rose Namajunas with knockout slam, claims title
After losing the first round of the UFC 237 main event handily, Jessica Andrade knew she had to mix things up.
Defending UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas dominated the first five minutes of the bout, using her speed and range to fluster her Brazilian foe. But then Andrade decided to make it a firefight in the second round, and she capped her performance with one of the most stunning finishes in recent memory.
Andrade (20-6 MMA, 11-4 UFC) slammed Namajunas (8-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) for the knockout, winning the championship at the 2:34 mark. The strawweight title fight was the UFC 237 main event from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro and streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
“I was very certain what I had to do in the second round,” Andrade said. “I’ve never done that move before in the UFC.”
Namajunas, who had not fought since defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk 13 months ago at UFC 223, showed no ring rust as she pieced up Andrade in the opening round. Her jab was sharp, her footwork magnificent, her use of range nonpareil.
Andrade’s best moments in the first round came when she closed the distance and fired shots, and that was a foreshadowing of the second. Andrade’s flurries didn’t always connect, but they became noticeably more successful as the round progressed.
A slam attempt earlier nearly ended in Andrade getting submitted on the ground, but there was no doubt about the second attempt, as Namajunas landed in a matter that made it appear she was lucky she didn’t suffer a broken neck.
Namajunas had a three-fight win streak snapped as she suffered her second career knockout loss.
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