In 48 hours, Rose Namajunas will have her second world title defense and it will come against a ferocious striker and overall competitor in Jessica Andrade. That ferocity along with Andrade’s lopsided strength advantage has many people expecting a new champion to be crowned this Saturday, but Dana White believes that those coronating Andrade are doing so prematurely and in a manner that is blasphemous to the current strawweight queen (Transcript via MMA Weekly):
“This is a really tough fight for her. Andrade is a beast, an absolutely beast,” UFC president Dana White said in an interview on the Jim Rome show. “A lot of people think Andrade is going to run right through Rose but let’s not forget Rose beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice and everybody on her way to get to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She looks better every time she fights.
“This is one of those fights I have no idea how this is going to go. I get why Rose is the underdog but people are underestimating Rose once again.”
Something else the reigning champion should get credit for, White argues, is her willingness to step into hostile territory, as she will be defending her championship in Andrade’s home country of Brazil, amongs a fan base that is always sure to be partisan:
“A lot of people will not go down to Brazil,” White said. “They fear that they don’t get the right call from the judges and the crowd is so hostile. It’s basically Brazil versus the world,” White explained.
“When I tell you this, we called Rose Namajunas and told her this fight and told her that she was going to be defending her title in Brazil, on Andrade’s home turf, [she] didn’t even flinch. Didn’t even question it. Nothing. She just accepted the fight and I have a lot of respect for her for that.”
Rose Namajunas is currently a very slight underdog at +105, but once the fight begins, the odds go straight out the window and the competitors earn their respect the hard way.
Do you believe Rose Namajunas is being overlooked ahead of her UFC 237 title defense against Jessica Andrade?