Jessica Andrade KOs Rose Namajunas with Brutal Slam to Capture UFC Strawweight Title

By Mike Sloan May 11, 2019

The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 237 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Jessica Andrade came up short two years ago when she first challenged for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s strawweight world title and made sure it wouldn’t happen again.

In the main event of UFC 237 on Saturday night at Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro in Andrade’s home country of Brazil, she finally exorcised the demons. Andrade was having a hard time in dealing with reigning champion Rose Namajunas’ speed and accuracy with her punches, but the Brazilian never became flustered and stuck to here game plan.

Andrade (20-6) slammed “Thug” Rose twice in the first, but she never was able to get any sort of rhythm going on her feet. Namajunas was picking her apart with a slick left jab and dropped her in the first with a sharp left hook. Even when “Bate Estaca” unleashed several violent flurries of punches, she wasn’t able to land anything flush to get Namajunas off her game.

But everything changed once Andrade got inside again in the second. Andrade scooped up Namajunas (8-4) and slammed her down hard, directly onto her head. The Wisconsin native was out cold upon impact and before Andrade could inflict follow-up punches, referee Marc Goddard pulled her off, officially ending the contest at 2:58, allowing Andrade to capture her first-ever world title.

’Spider’ Suffers Knee Injury in Sudden Defeat

Just when their fight was getting interesting, Jared Cannonier scored the biggest win of his MMA career when he stopped former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva with one strike. Cannonier was landing decent punches and leg kicks, but near the end of the opening round, “The Spider” appeared to start warming up. However, just as Silva (34-10) came inside with a possible combo of punches, “The Killa Gorilla” slammed a kick to the inside of Silva’s right knee. Silva crumbled in a heap in horrible pain, and just as Cannonier (12-4) pounced on him, veteran referee Herb Dean intervened.

Silva lay on the ground, writhing in agony; his right knee apparently badly damaged. The anticlimactic end came at 4:47 of the first; Cannonier was lustily booed when he was announced as the winner via TKO.

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Aldo No Match for New No. 1 Contender Volkanovski

Fans hoping for a vintage performance from Jose Aldo left disappointed because Aussie scrapper Alexander Volkanovski dominated him from start to finish. Volkanovski (20-1) used scattered leg kicks and a pesky jab behind slick movement to thwart Aldo’s charges early and often.

Volkanovski’s movement confounded “Scarface” routinely and it prevented the Brazilian fan favorite from ever finding his rhythm, and whenever Aldo (28-5) tried letting his hands go, “The Great” simply tied him up and pressed him into cage. With the fight slipping out of his fingers in the third, Aldo needed to go for broke, but Volkanovski never allowed it. In the end, all three judges scored it 30-27 in favor of Volkanovski, who likely will be inserted as the No. 1 contender at featherweight in the UFC.

Starpoli Thwarts Late Alves Rally

Argentina’s Laureano Starpoli weathered a late storm from longtime veteran Thiago Alves to score the biggest win of his still-blossoming MMA career. Laureano (9-1) used superb movement to pick apart Alves from a distance, largely nullifying the Brazilian’s trademark aggression. Laureano never hurt Alves (23-14), but he did more than enough damage to make “Pitbull” desperate in the final round. But even after Alves hurt “El Matador” with a knee to the head and follow-up punches late in the welterweight duel, it wasn’t enough.

Two judges favored Laureano 30-27 and the third had it 29-28, giving him the unanimous decision win.

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Correia Misses Weight, Gets Subbed by Aldana

Mexico’s Irene Aldana came into enemy territory and not only bested Bethe Correia, she did it emphatically.

Aldana (10-4) started off strongly with solid movement and a superb jab, but “Pitbull” stormed back with powerful punches and low kicks in the second. Aldana regrouped and began picking Correia (10-4-1) apart with jabs and short right crosses to the head in the third.

Correia, then bleeding from the nose, shot in for a single-leg takedown just past the midway point of the final frame, but was stuffed. From there, Aldana pounced on the Brazilian’s back and slithered over for a textbook belly-down armbar, forcing the tap. Correia bowed out officially at 3:24 of the third.

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