UFC 237: Namajunas vs. Andrade

UFC 237

Credit: UFC

UFC 237 takes place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The main event features current strawweight champion Thug Rose Namajunas vs. former title challenger, and current #1 ranked strawweight in the world, Jessica Andrade. Andrade, the current -130 favorite looks to capture UFC gold on her second attempt, after losing to Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision in her first attempt back on May 13th, 2017. Since the loss, Andrade has been on a three-fight win streak beating Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres by decision, then brutally knocking out Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Thug Rose looks to retain her strawweight belt in hostile territory by showcasing a more dynamic, well-rounded game. This will be Namajunas’s first fight against someone other than Joanna Jedrzejczyk, since a submission win over Michelle Waterson on April 15, 2017. Underdogs have gone 6-1 in the last seven main events. Thug Rose plans to make that 7-1.

The co-main features Brazil’s Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Jared Cannonier. Anderson Silva is coming off a decision loss to Israel Adesanya on February 9th, 2019. The Spider is looking to make a statement in what could be his last fight. He will have the crowds full support with chants of “Uh Via Morrer” or “you will die,” heard throughout Jeunesse Arena. Cannonier’s game has seen improvements since becoming a full-time fighter and making a move from Alaska to the MMA Lab in Phoenix AZ. This will be his second fight down at middleweight.

Picks-Current Record 8-4

Namajunas vs. Andrade

Andrade is the hardest hitting strawweight in the division. She will try to keep Rose on the back foot, come forward and throw bombs. Rose will try and use her length and reach to keep out of Andrade’s punching range while throwing strikes until a submission presents its self.

Pick: Rose Namajunas by late submission.

Jared Cannonier vs. Anderson Silva

Jared Cannonier will try and land a big shot when the opportunity presents itself and follow up with hard shots to get a finish. Silva will look to avoid damage early and get his timing down. I think he avoids the big shots and gets the decision.

Pick: Anderson Silva by decision.

Others: Alexander Volkanovski, Laureano Staropoli

UFC 237 Guest Picks by Todd Maddox (ASN MMA)-Current Record 15-6

Namajunas vs. Andrade

It’s hard to ignore how the long lay-off, nerves, and fighting in enemy territory will affect Rose, but she proved the doubters wrong in her two consecutive title defenses against Joanna. She may be socially awkward, but possess the skill set to beat anyone. She faces a different animal in Andrade on Saturday night though. Expect Andrade to bring relentless pressure from the beginning and will be looking for takedown opportunities throughout. Rose possesses top shelf counter punching skills and will look to keep Andrade at range. Don’t underestimate Rose’s grappling skills though. If she takes her opponents back, it’s over. I think she weathers the early storm and scores a mid to late sub.

Pick: Rose by submission.

Jared Cannonier vs. Anderson Silva

Not the match-up that I was expecting for what could be Anderson’s farewell fight, but here we are. Cannonier looks to have found his weight class at 185 lbs., but he’s had difficulty in the past with long, rangy opponents when he fought at 205 lbs. Not only is Anderson long and rangy, but he’s big at 185lbs. Cannonier needs to avoid leaving this fight in the hands of the judges. Cannonier possesses KO power and needs to avoid a technical contest with Silva. My heart says Cannonier, but the experience of Anderson, coupled with the over-reacting home town crowd, will be too much to overcome.

Pick: Anderson Silva by decision.

Others: Alexander Volkanovski, Laureano Staropoli 

UFC 237 Guest Picks by Josh Mousel (ASN MMA)-Current Record 24-7

Namajunas vs. Andrade

The entire UFC 237 card is packed full of stylistically nightmarish matchups (especially if you are trying to make predictions) but none so difficult to gauge as the strawweight main event. Thug Rose knows how to bring it, she possesses a TKO win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, in which she won the title, then won a unanimous decision over JJ in the rematch. She is an intelligent striker that has a very strong grappling game as well. Now insert Andrade, who is coming off of a knockout win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz that was reminiscent of a Mark Hunt walk-off KO. Interestingly enough, Kowalkiewicz was the last fighter to beat Rose Namajunas. Andrade is a heavy puncher and will look to back Rose into the cage and unload a heavy barrage of strikes. Andrade is also a brown belt in BJJ, as is Namajunas, so both women are solid on the ground. I think Namajunas possesses the skillset to win this fight anywhere else but in Andrade’s home country of Brazil. But Brazilians are proud of their fighters and with the crowd behind her, I have to lean Andrade.

Pick: Andrade by TKO

Aldo vs. Volkanovski

One of the greatest featherweights the sport of MMA has ever seen is rounding out his farewell tour, and Aldo has put in two incredibly dominating performances. He will look to continue his winning streak in his home country against an incredibly powerful Alexander Volkanovsky. Volkanovsky is currently on a 16-fight win streak with his last win being a TKO over Chad Mendes. I love Aldo and think he is an all-time great, but I think the pressure of Volkanovsky will overwhelm Aldo in this one.

Pick: Volkanovsky by TKO

Others: Anderson Silva, Laureano Staropoli, Irene Aldana

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