Another UFC title fight, another underdog status for Rose Namajunas

Why does it seem like the more Rose Namajunas keeps winning, the less people seem to believe in her?

For the fourth straight fight, and third straight title fight, Namajunas (8-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will be an underdog when she defends her women’s strawweight belt against Jessica Andrade (19-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC).

Namajunas heads into hostile territory in Andrade’s home country of Brazil for the championship bout at UFC 237 on May 11. The main card will air on pay-per-view following prelims likely on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass. The UFC hasn’t announced a precise venue or city, though.

After the fight was booked earlier this week, Andrade opened as a -120 favorite against the champion, then climbed up to -175 at one online sports book, where the comeback on Namajunas is +145.

At UFC on FOX 24 in April 2017, Namajunas was a slight underdog against Michelle Waterson, but won with a second-round submission. That earned her a title shot against then-dominant champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

At UFC 217 against Jedrzejczyk, Namajunas was a massive underdog. Jedrzejczyk was more than an 8-1 favorite when the bell rang. But Namajunas took her out with a first-round TKO to win the title.

When they fought again in April 2018 at UFC 223, Jedrzejczyk was the favorite again – though much smaller in the rematch. Again, Namajunas won with a unanimous decision.

Overall, Namajunas has won six of her past seven fights and has three bonuses in that stretch. Andrade currently is riding her third three-fight winning streak as a member of the UFC. After a loss to Jedrzejczyk in a title fight at UFC 211, she has rattled off decision wins over Claudi Gadelha and Tecia Torres. And at UFC 228 this past September, she knocked out Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the first round to win a $50,000 bonus.

Andrade has been the favorite in all three of those fights, and now is favored to beat the champ to win her first UFC title. Andrade is 6-1 since moving from bantamweight all the way down to 115 pounds. Her only loss since the drop is to Jedrzejczyk, and she has four bonuses in that run.

For more on UFC 237, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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