After almost a year away from action — much to the chagrin of Tyron Woodley — Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, will return to the Octagon to face Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 on May 11, 2019.
That event will take place in Curitiba, Brazil, giving Andrade -- the Brazilian challenger — home-field advantage.
And that’s just fine with Namajunas, who revealed on a recent edition of “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” that it was her decision to go into enemy territory to defend her strap.
“I wanted to fight in Brazil,” said Rose before her significant other, Pat Barry, chimed in and revealed she was offered to defend her title at the upcoming UFC 235 pay-per-view (PPV) event on March 2, in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will be headlined by Jon Jones taking on Anthony Smith in a Light Heavyweight title fight.
“That’s just how I perform best. I think it’s a great opportunity,” she added.
“I never ever really wanted to fight out of the country. The last time I left the country I lived in Indonesia, the middle of third-world conditions, no running water, no electricity. Just really challenging months for me,” she added when recalling her time living overseas.
“We built a house for 30 days, living in tents and stuff like that. It was a real difficult thing I went through but it was one of those experiences where you hate it and love it,” she added. “Fighting in Brazil is definitely, I’d love to fight in my own backyard, of course, but fighting is not about being comfortable.”
Rose last competed in April of 2018, defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the second time to hold on to her 115-pound strap. As for Andrade, she earned her second chance at winning the division title by racking up three straight wins. In 2017, Andrade came up short against the aforementioned Jedrzejczyk in her first-ever shot at winning UFC gold.
Will she do better the second time around?