On Saturday night, in the main event of UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas will attempt to defend her title against hometown hero Jessica Andrade.
Come fight time, Namajunas will more than likely face her fair share of boos from the passionate Brazilian fans in attendance in Rio. While this is daunting thought for most fighters, the strawweight champion allegedly did not hesitate when the UFC asked her to defend her title on foreign soil.
“A lot of people will not go down to Brazil,” UFC President White said on The Jim Rome Show this week (transcript via Sherdog). “They fear that they don’t get the right call from the judges and the crowd is so hostile. It’s basically Brazil versus the world.
“When I tell you this, we called Rose Namajunas and told her this fight and told her that she was going to be defending her title in Brazil, on Andrade’s home turf, [she] didn’t even flinch. Didn’t even question it. Nothing. She just accepted the fight and I have a lot of respect for her for that.”
Not only will Rose Namajunas serve as the visiting team in the UFC 237 main event, but she’ll also enter the fight as a betting underdog. Dana White says he understands why the oddsmakers have such confidence in Andrade, but also feels the world could be sleeping on Namajunas.
“This is a really tough fight for [Namajunas]. Andrade is a beast, an absolute beast,” White said. “A lot of people think Andrade is going to run right through Rose but let’s not forget Rose beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice and everybody on her way to get to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She looks better every time she fights.
“This is one of those fights I have no idea how this is going to go,” White added. “I get why Rose is the underdog but people are underestimating Rose once again.”
How do you think Rose Namajunas will perform in hostile territory this weekend? Learn how to watch UFC 237 right here.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/10/2019.