'Big' John McCarthy Explains Why Jessica Andrade's Slam At UFC 237 Was Legal

By Nathan Zur May 13, 2019

Jessica Andrade defeated Rose Namajunas on Saturday night to become the UFC’s new strawweight champion, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the hard-hitting Brazilian.

Andrade was outstruck by Namajunas for the first round, and worse, the champion successfully defended two attempts by Andrade to elevate her for high-amplitude takedowns. In the second round, however, the Brazilian delivered one of her patented slams, knocking Namajunas out in the process. In the immediate aftermath of the finish, there were concerns that the slam had been illegal due to the way “Thug Rose” landed on her head.

Well-respected veteran MMA referee John McCarthy was queried on Twitter by fans as to why the slam was considered legal, considering the potential injuries Namajunas could have suffered with the way she fell. According to McCarthy, the slam was 100 percent legal due to the way Namajunas defended it.

“When Rose goes for the armbar she has a choice to either let go of the armbar or try and hold onto it and go for the ride that Andrade is going to put on her,” McCarthy tweeted. “There is no illegal slam when a submission is being attempted. It does not matter how she brings her down.”

As the broadcast team of Dominick Cruz and Daniel Cormier reiterated during the event, the slam would only have become illegal if Namajunas had let go of the submission attempt.


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