In the main event of UFC 237, Jessica Andrade became the new strawweight champion after knocking out Rose Namajunas in the second round. The Brazilian slammed the champ, who landed on her head, which knocked her out after Andrade landed two more shots.
However, after the fight, fans and fighters alike took to social media wanting to know why the slam wasn’t illegal. Head slams, after all, are an illegal move in MMA. But, according to veteran referee “Big” John McCarthy, the slam was legal because of the way Namajunas was defending it.
“When Rose goes for the armbar she has no choice to either let go of the armbar or try and hold onto it and go for the ride that Andrade is going to put on her,” McCarthy tweeted. “There is no illegal slam when a submission is being attempted. It does not matter how she brings her down #AskBJM.”
Therefore, if Namajunas had let go of the submission attempt it would have been illegal. But she did not so Andrade’s win was as legal as it gets, and the Brazilian is now on a four-fight winning streak.
Who Andrade fights next is up in the air as there are plenty of options at strawweight. For now, Brazil has a new UFC champion.