Jessica Andrade became the new UFC strawweight champion after knocking out Rose Namajunas on Saturday night at UFC 237, but this wasn’t just any ol’ knockout. This was a slam knockout.
For almost all of 7:58, Namajunas was piecing up Andrade with speed and combos that bloodied up her face. The performance had Daniel Cormier saying Namajunas was “putting on a master class” late in the first round. Then Round 2 began, and Andrade’s power became a factor. It proved to be the difference, too, as she countered a Kimura attempt with a huge slam – essentially a pile driver – that finished the fight. Namajunas was out the moment her head bounced off the canvas.
Afterward, a social media debate ensued as to whether or not Andrade’s slam was legal, and “Big” John McCarthy was one of the first to set the record straight. But what do we make of the way the fight ended? MMA Junkie’s Ben Fowlkes, Fernanda Prates and Steven Marrocco sound off in this edition of “Triple Take.”
Ben Fowlkes: That’s a legit victory, but I’m not sure it was convincing enough.
First of all, let me tell you what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to make the argument that Jessica Andrade didn’t deserve to win that fight, or that the mechanics of her slam were illegal or unfair. I’m not going to claim that she doesn’t deserve to be walking around with the UFC strawweight title right now, because she does.
What I will argue is this: Andrade was losing virtually every second of this fight – right up until she dumped Rose Namajunas on her head. It was an intentional move on her part, and an effectively violent one, but it was also sort of like the grappler’s version of the so-called “lucky” punch.
Which is to say, I’m not sure she could do it again if she had to, and I probably wouldn’t pick her in a rematch.
In fact, if I’m a strawweight contender in the UFC right now, I’m probably encouraged by this title turnover. Because the Namajunas we saw in the first seven minutes was downright scary. Her movement, her timing, the way she mixed up the strikes and landed cleanly both leading and countering, that was impressive stuff.
After getting sliced up and outstruck from the start, Andrade’s only chance was to bull her way in close and muscle her to the mat. And, honestly, that strategy could not have possibly gone any better.
Again, that still counts, and Andrade is still the champ. No one can take that away from her. But until she really puts the stamp on her title reign with a dominant defense, I’m going to have questions. I suspect I’m not the only one.
Next page – Fernanda Prates: An abrupt comeback seems unsatisfying, but it doesn’t take away from the win.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Triple Take: What to make of Jessica Andrade's slam at UFC 237