UFC 237 is in the books and we have a new UFC Strawweight champion in the form of Jessica Andrade. More on that later but overall, this wasn’t the best show we’ll see in 2019.
Historically the UFC’s Brazilian shows have lived and died on how the local stars have done and last night, Andrade was practically the lone major Brazilian success.
Outside of that we got some Bellator-like booking in terms of the use of ageing former stars up and down the card, a couple of nice finishes but overall, nothing too memorable. Hopefully the UFC’s next two pay-per-views – which look far better on paper – improve on this effort.
Here are the best and worst moments of UFC 237: Namajunas vs. Andrade.
#1 Best: That slam
Finishing an opponent with a slam is a pretty rare thing in MMA – that’s why famous instances like Rampage Jackson’s powerbomb of Ricardo Arona and Tito Ortiz’s brutal bodyslam of Evan Tanner are still well recalled to this day.
Well, after last night, Jessica Andrade can join that club – and as far as I can recall, she’s now the only fighter – in a top promotion at least – to actually win a title with a slam TKO.
Sure, she was clearly losing the fight after the first round; Rose Namajunas was piecing her up with her movement and striking, had her bloodied up and even dropped her with a knee late in the round, but Andrade did seem to be shifting the momentum of the fight as the second round went on.
And when Namajunas made the error of holding on too tightly to an unsuccessful kimura attempt, ‘Bate Estaca’ took full advantage.
Andrade lifted the champion into the air and spun her before dumping her directly onto her head – which was completely unprotected due to Namajunas clinging onto the challenger’s arm. ‘Thug Rose’ was knocked instantly unconscious, and seconds later the title change was confirmed.
Will this finish make Andrade into a star? Probably not – no offense, but she just isn’t that marketable. Will her title reign be a long one? Personally I doubt it as I suspect Tatiana Suarez is going to destroy whoever holds the title once her inevitable shot comes. But on a relatively forgettable show like this it was clearly the best moment.