Jessica Andrade, Rose Namajunas Agree to July 11 Rematch

By Jay Pettry Jun 4, 2020

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After a lengthy and understandable delay, Ultimate Fighting Championship has re-booked a high-stakes strawweight rematch.

On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Jessica Andrade (20-7) has agreed to square off for the second time against Rose Namajunas (8-4) at strawweight. The two former champs will meet at an event on July 11, which will potentially be held on the fabled “Fight Island.” The fight card may be titled UFC 251, but the promotion has not yet made an official announcement.

The Brazilian ex-champ last appeared on the marquis of UFC Fight Night 157 in August 2019, where she suffered a quick knockout at the hands of Weili Zhang to surrender her title. The defeat snapped a four-fight win streak for “Bate Estaca,” where she captured decisions over Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres, along with devastating knockouts of Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Namajunas to win the title. Andrade is currently the most active female fighter in UFC history, competing a record 16 times under the UFC banner.

Namajunas was booked against Andrade in a rematch for UFC 249 in April, but the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the event and Namajunas in particular, claiming the lives of more than one of her family members. UFC President Dana White was considering this matchup earlier, but he personally discussed options with Namajunas in light of her situation. “Thug Rose” has not fought since May 2019, when Andrade left her unconscious following a brutal slam at UFC 237. Losing her belt when on the wrong end of that knockout, Namajunas earned the strap by knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2017 and defended it five months later against the same foe.

The unnamed UFC card on July 11 is considered to be going down at “Fight Island,” although the specifics have not yet been made clear. Also appearing on the card is a big bantamweight battle between Pedro Munhoz and Frankie Edgar, while Paige VanZant will be making her return at strawweight against Amanda Ribas.

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