It’s official. At UFC 249 Rose Namajunas will get the chance to avenge her latest loss when she takes on Jessica Andrade. Namajunas hasn’t fought since she dropped her title to the Brazillian back in May last year, a defeat which rather came by surprise as she had been dominating the majority of the fight before being knocked out during a slam.
Andrade on the other hand would go on to attempt to defend the straweight title against Zhang Weili but would be unsuccessful, meaning both women come into this fight looking to bounce back after losing the belt.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see this fight billed as a number one contenders fight, with the winner claiming a shot against the current champ, however with Joanna Jedrzejczyk beginning to make her way back up the rankings there may be one more barrier in their way first.
The women’s strawweight division is somewhat bereft of top contenders at the moment, with most of the women in the division either coming off the back of a loss, already having losses on their records to other contenders or just still being a little too fresh in their careers to really be ready for a title shot.
That lack of depth in the division is one of the key reasons that both Namajunas and Andrade could be set for a title shot by winning this fight. Despite the fact that both women would be going in riding a one fight winning streak. Not to mention the fact that Namajunas has only fought twice in the past two years, often taking extended breaks from the Octagon to focus on both her mental and physical wellbeing.
Whoever loses this fight will find themselves facing a tough decision. Dropping a UFC title is already a tough thing to come back from however if you drop the title and then go on to lose your next fight in the division, it can be years before you work your way back up to the top. For this bout a loss would likely have a bigger impact on Namajunas than it would on Andrade, given that Rose has already dropped one fight to the former champion in what was a slightly controversial result, taking a more one sided defeat this time around would set her back a long way. Meanwhile if Andrade was to be on the losing side, there would likely be argument or case for a third fight between the two women down the line – a way back into the title picture for the Brazillian.
Either way it will be intresting to see how the remainder of the card forms as we’re already set to see three amazing fights on the main card.