Rose Najamjunas to defend strawweight title at UFC 237 against Jessica Andrade


The second defense of Rose Namajunas' UFC women's strawweight title will come in her opponent's backyard of Brazil at UFC 237. 

Namajunas (8-3) will face top contender Jessica Andrade on May 11, UFC president Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Monday. There was no initial word as to whether the bout would headline the card or what city and arena the show would emanate from. 

The 115-pound champion Namajunas will end a 13-month layoff due to a neck injury when she makes her return. The 26-year-old, nicknamed "Thug Rose," hasn't fought since edging former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision in their UFC 223 rematch last April that was among the best fights of 2018. 

The 27-year-old Andrade will enter her second title shot as the hottest fighter in the division just two years after she showcased her toughness despite losing a wide decision to then-champion Jedrzejczyk. Since then, Andrade has won impressive decisions over contenders Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres before delivering one of the most devastating one-punch knockouts against Karolina Kowalkiewicz in September that women's MMA has ever produced. 

Andrade (19-6), a former bantamweight, will match her aggressive style and dynamic punching power against Namajunas' length, refined boxing skills and strong submission game. 

Namajunas, who knocked out Jedrzejczyk to win the title at UFC 217 in 2017, is 6-1 since losing her UFC debut for the inaugural strawweight title in 2014 against Carla Esparza in "The Ultimate Fighter" finale. 

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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