Jessica Andrade became the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion with a second round knockout win over Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC 237.
A victorious Andrade won with a slam knockout and she was worried about the former champion when the pile driver connected.
“We train to get in there and have a good fight and hoping that everyone will get out of there healthy,” Andrade said after the event (via Fernanda Prates & Ken Hathaway of MMA Junkie). “And in the moment I didn’t see what happened. I saw that she fell and I saw that she passed out and I threw two punches and the referee got in between us, but I hadn’t realized the proportion of that, I didn’t see the magnitude of that. We train to get in there and get out of there healthy, but she woke up right after that and I relaxed. And I was happy that everything worked out and that I didn’t kill her (laughs). I didn’t even imagine that that would happen. I believe that the pile drive happened because she kept holding my arm and she was going to try a submission. But since it was a takedown, I threw her over my head and I threw her down and there was no way. She landed on her head and it was an immediate knockout.”
Andrade has scored seven of her professional MMA wins by way of KO/TKO, but that was her first by slam knockout.
One thing that Andrade firmly believes is that a second bout with Namajunas will happen.
“The UFC is definitely going to want to do a rematch and I accept it because I believe that, to prove that you won, you have to do the same thing twice,” Andrade said. “So I’m going to be very well-prepared. I’m going to focus more on the movement. She had quicker hands, but I believe that plan was to tire her out in the first round and then on the second round I noticed that her arms were slower, I was able to duck more and she takes all the kicks. That’s something that I’m going to train a lot. And the takedowns, she felt like a feather in there. So I feel like I’ve got to improve my ground work and the movement, I think everything will work out.”
Namajunas did hint at retirement after UFC 237, but no official announcement has been made at this time.