UFC 237 on May 11 will act as the UFC’s big return to Brazil.
In the co-main event, we’ll be treated to a long-awaited strawweight showdown as the champion Rose Namajunas returns to face off with the hometown challenger, Jessica Andrade.
When the fight was first announced, the biggest surprise was definitely that it would be taking place in the challenger’s home country rather than the champions.
However, it seems that this was by design according to Namajunas.
“That’s just how I perform best, you know?” Namajunas said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I think it’s just a great opportunity.
“I wanted to fight in Brazil [rather than Las Vegas in March]. They had told me March 2 at first so I was getting ready for that anyways. But of course, more time is always better but sometimes you can have too much time and it can be like you’re overtrained and stuff. I took this break for a reason, obviously to heal up and stuff. I’m just looking to get back in there no matter what.”
Namajunas related the choice of going with an unfamiliar fighting location to her time spent in Indonesia where she was forced to grow from a love-hate type of living situation.
By the time that the fight rolls around, it will have been 13 months since the champion made the walk to the Octagon. That last time coming in April 2018 when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the second time when she picked a unanimous decision victory at UFC 223.
For the challenger in Andrade, she recently shared her surprise about the fight being in her home country as she said it was something she could have seen happening someday when she becomes champion but never thought it would happen as the challenger.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/18/2019