UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas defends the gold against Jessica Andrade in the main event of UFC 237.
The upcoming title bout is taking place in Brazil and Namajunas admits that she is venturing into uncharted territory this weekend.
“This time is different from any other time, obviously. This time it’s pretty scary, I must say,” Namajunas said. “It’s kind of, I feel like I’m in uncharted territory even though I have a lot of experience. There’s a lot of things that I do know but there’s definitely a lot of unknowns going into this one. I’ve spent not just the last year fighting the same girl, Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), but then years prior to that, even after having other opponents, I still was thinking about her. So this is the first time where I’m not thinking about her. I’m thinking about somebody else, thinking about Andrade, and at the end of the day it’s always just a fight against myself, so just remembering that has been a challenge, but it’s something that I’m going to overcome.”
Although Namajunas has competed eleven times as a professional MMA fighter, none of those bouts took place outside of North America.
Namajunas says that Andrade’s punching power reminds her of Pat Barry, who is the champion’s fiancée.
“I think she’s pretty unique, I’d say. I don’t think I’ve ever fought anybody quite like her,” Namajunas said. “I think that there’s parts of her that kinda remind me of Pat Barry in a way, just the way that when she fought at ’35, she was fighting girls that were way bigger, but she kinda just like always surprised people with just how explosive [she was], and that regardless of her size, she was able to be a dangerous opponent no matter what. So in that sense, she kinda reminds me of Pat in a way.”
UFC 237 takes place on Saturday, May 11 from the Arena Da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil with Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade headlining.