After a split decision defeat to “Thug Rose” in 2020, Andrade ventured back to flyweight for three outings as a 125lber. After two victories and a failed crack at dethroning Valentina Shevchenko, the Brazilian returned to her old stomping ground in some style last month.
In the UFC Vegas 52 main event, Andrade submitted rising contender Amanda Lemos with the first standing arm-triangle choke in UFC history.
Having returned to the division and firmly announced herself as a part of the strawweight title picture, Andrade will have a close eye on the next championship fight in the weight class, which is set for less than two weeks’ time.
Andrade: People Underestimate Namajunas’ Ground Game
At UFC 274 tonight in Phoenix, Arizona, the sophomore defense of Rose Namajunas’ second reign on the strawweight throne will co-feature, and will see her look to avenge a past loss to number one contender and former titleholder Carla Esparza.
Despite holding a submission victory over the reigning queen and riding a mightily-impressive five-fight win streak into her third championship fight in the UFC, Esparza is being widely regarded as a large underdog. According to Jéssica Andrade, there’s good reason for that.
During her appearance at the UFC Vegas 52 post-fight press conference, “Bate Estaca” provided some analysis and a prediction for the UFC 274 co-main event. After claiming that Namajunas’ ground game, which was on display in her rematch against Zhang Weili last November, is underrated by most, Andrade suggested that the champ will comfortably retain the belt on the scorecards.
“As much as Carla is relentless with her takedowns, she has an amazing top game, people sometimes maybe underestimate how good Rose is on the ground,” claimed Andrade. “She has been for a long, long time. When I was fighting her, there were like 10 takedown attempts that I tried, that she would go straight to a submission from there. She brings danger no matter where she is.
“She (Namajunas) does have the reach advantage. She’s gonna be fighting on the bigger cage, so I think it’s gonna be tough for Carla to find her there,” added Andrade. “I don’t see her finishing Carla, but I see this fight going the five rounds, with a wide margin for Rose.”
Having jumped straight back into the strawweight mix at #5 following her dominant victory over compatriot Lemos, Andrade will be looking to secure a date with the champ soon enough. Given that her series with Namajunas is tied at 1-1, perhaps she’ll be supporting “Thug Rose” on May 7 in the hope of securing a future trilogy showdown.
Do you agree with Jéssica Andrade? Will Rose Namajunas successfully defend the strawweight gold at UFC 274?