Rose Namajunas will defend her UFC women’s strawweight world title at UFC 237 in Brazil when she takes on Jessica Andrade.
Namajunas will defend her belt for the second time in May when she travels to enemy territory to take on Brazilian slugger Andrade, who herself is fighting for the belt for a second time.
Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN earlier this morning.
Namajunas won her title at UFC 217 in November 2017 when she sensationally defeated the long-reigning champion, Joanna Jędrzejczyk after making the polish fighter tap to strikes.
Namajunas was a massive underdog in that fight as Jędrzejczyk swept all before her in the strawweight division and looked on course to break Ronda Rousey’s record for most title defences by a female fighter.
The pair would meet again at UFC 223 in April of last year and on that occasion, Namajunas retained her title via unanimous decision. Her rematch victory over Jędrzejczyk marks the last time Namajunas fought, meaning her fight with Andrade in May will mark the first time in over a year that she has competed.
The reason for her lengthy lay-off is that the UFC’s current youngest champion sustain a neck injury that kept her out of competition in the latter half of 2018.
Andrade fought for the strawweight title at UFC 211 when she was defeated by Jędrzejczyk, however, Andrade won a lot of plaudits on the night for her gritty performance.
Since then, the number one contender has won an impressive three-in-a-row to earn another shot at gold.
The Brazilian bounced back from her set back to record victories over Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, and most recently a devastating one-punch KO of Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
The exact venue of the fight has not yet been confirmed, all that is known at this stage is the fight is official and will take place in Brazil.