This Saturday, the UFC returns to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Rose Namajunas (8-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) puts her UFC strawweight title on the line against Brazilian contender Jéssica Andrade (19-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC).
This will be the first time a UFC champion has traveled to the home country of the challenger since Ronda Rousey defeated Bethe Correia at UFC 190 back in 2015.
Cris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes, and Rafael dos Anjos all defended their belts against American fighters on U.S soil since then, but those three Brazilian champions have themselves been based in the U.S for many years now.
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two women in Saturday night’s main event:
Namajunas followed a second-round submission win over Michelle Waterson with back-to-back victories over Joanne Jędrzejczyk (firstly via first-round TKO and then via five-round unanimous decision), to win and defend the UFC strawweight championship.
A win for Rose would see her join Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Amanda Nunes in the short list of female fighters who have defended a UFC championship on multiple occasions.
Andrade scored back-to-back three-round decision wins over against Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres before registering the quickest knockout in UFC strawweight history (1 minute 58 seconds) against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Of all fighters in UFC history, both male and female, with a minimum of 10 fights with the promotion, Andrade has the highest number of significant strikes landed per minute.
Here’s a look at how these two fighters fared when competing against common opponents shared throughout their careers. On the left of the graphic, you’ll see how Namajunas fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Andrade’s results against the same women.
The two women share four common opponents; Tecia Torres, Angela Hill, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
Namajunas has found herself on both ends of a three-round unanimous decision verdict against Torres, tasting defeat in 2013 before coming out victorious in 2016, whilst Andrade notched a unanimous decision win over Torres last February.
Both fighters defeated Hill (Rose via submission and Andrade by decision), whilst Namajunas suffered a split-decision loss against Kowalkiewicz- an opponent Andrade defeated via KO.
Andrade suffered a dominant decision loss against Jędrzejczyk in May 2017, whilst Namajunas defeated the former champion in the two aforementioned bouts.
The Dwyer Score
Each event, I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It essentially gives a numeric value to the momentum of fighters competing at any one event. I do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak; a fighter on a five-fight winning streak contributes +5 to an event’s score, whilst a fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. Only UFC results are considered and a fighter coming off a no-contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0. When you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card, you get a total for the event- the ‘Dwyer Score.’ This score does not claim to predict or measure the quality or excitement of any one card, but it does give you an idea of the general momentum of fighters heading into a specific event. The graphic to the above-right displays some of the highest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC 237: Rose Namajunas vs. Jéssica Andrade checks in with a score of +13.
This score ranks joint-21st out of all 42 events in the last year and joint-11th out of 13 Pay-Per-View events in the same time frame.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score falls some way short of the +21 average for PPV events in the last twelve months, although it does beat the +12.1 average for all scores in the same period.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is Alexander Volkanovski (+6), ahead of Carlos Diego Ferreira (+4), Rose Namajunas and Jéssica Andrade (both +3).
The lowest scorer is B.J. Penn (-6), who could become the first fighter in history to lose seven consecutive UFC fights. Three fighters will be making their promotional debuts on this card.
Enjoy the fights!