Main Card (PPV at 10:00pm ET)
Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade – Strawweight Championship
Jared Cannonier vs. Anderson Silva
Jose Aldo vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Thiago Alves vs. Laureano Staropoli
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Preliminary Card (ESPN at 8:00pm ET)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ryan Spann
Thiago Moises vs. Kurt Holobaugh
Irene Aldana vs. Bethe Correia
BJ Penn vs. Clay Guida
Early Preliminary Card (ESPN+ at 5:15pm ET)
Luana Carolina vs. Priscila Cachoeira
Warlley Alves vs. Sergio Moraes
Talita Bernardo vs. Viviane Araujo
When: Saturday, May 11th
Where: Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Main Event – Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade for the Strawweight Title:
Rose Namajunas will be looking for her second title defense this weekend at UFC 237. “Thug” will be heading into hostile territory to face the human buzzsaw that is Jessica Andrade.
What truly makes her bout against Andrade so interesting is the contrasting styles of each woman.
Namajunas’ boxing has really come into its own over the last few years. She uses her jab with precision to keep her opponents at bay. From this range, her footwork and feints assure her opponents never know what strike is coming next. Be it her karate style sidekicks or her crushing lead left hook that she used to win the title, Namajunas is constantly mixing upon the feet.
Should the opportunity arise, Namajunas will go under her opponents strikes to get the body lock and rip them to the ground. From here it’s all about ground and pound and looking to set up the rear-naked choke, which she’s used to finish off four women in the past.
Andrade will be at a height and reach disadvantage this Saturday but that’s nothing new for the Brazilian. Compact and powerful, Andrade likes to fight in a phone booth. On the inside, she sets up combinations with vicious hooks to the body and head. She also uses this constant forward pressure to back her opponents into the cage and look for the high-crotch single takedown. Once that’s locked on, there’s a good chance her opponent is going for a ride. It’s nothing for Andrade to lift women over her had and slam them to the mat. Once she’s on top, she is ferocious with her punches and elbows.
This one is finesse versus aggression and should not be missed.
Most Important Non-Main Event – Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski:
After three tough losses in a row, fans completely wrote off Jose Aldo. Yet, here we are in 2019 and Aldo is a favorite over a 19-1 wrecking machine.
Volkanovski is known for his heavy hands and relentless pressure. The Aussie fighter has shown good wrestling and devastating ground and pound throughout his career. He picked up his biggest win to date when he stopped former title challenger Chad Mendes in his last outing.
Aldo, on the other hand, has stopped Jeremy Stephens and a tough prospect in Renato Moicano in his last two. Those who have followed the former featherweight king at all, know what he’s about. Often a counter fighter, Aldo is patient and looks to work off his opponent’s moves. Ruthless leg kicks and combinations to the head and body are a major part of his repertoire. Aldo also stops an astounding 92% of takedowns attempted on him.
Should Volkanovski win, he’ll be on the short list of title challengers at featherweight. Aldo may have a longer journey back to contention even with a win since he’s lost to current champ, Max Holloway twice.
Upset of the Night – Anderson Silva to beat Jared Cannonier:
Look, I’m not saying to bet the house on Silva. The guy has only won one fight in the last six years and many thought he should’ve lost that one. What I am saying is, I believe Silva can stay outside of the big power of Cannonier and pick his shots. Could Cannonier catch him? For sure. As a former heavyweight, Cannonier hits hard. I just don’t know if he can set up something The Spider can’t avoid.
Anderson showed he still had a bit left in the tank in his fight against Israel Adesanya last time out, and I think it’ll be enough to earn a victory in front of the home crowd this Saturday.
Lock of the Night – Clay Guida to beat BJ Penn:
Sadly, UFC is still dragging out the shell of BJ Penn. Once considered one of the best of all time, Penn is 0-6 in the last 8 years. Guida has been hit or miss himself throughout most of his career, but he at least looks compelled to fight when he enters the Octagon. He still has his trademark frenzied pace and even picked up a nice knockout over Joe Lauzon a couple of fights ago.
Fight of the Night – Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski:
We went into this one more in-depth above, but basically, Volkanoski’s intensity vs Aldo’s technique should make for a banger. Don’t miss this one, folks.