After seeing Brazilian fighter after Brazilian fighter fail to get their hand raised, the strawweight title main event looked to be going the same way with one round down.
With Rose Namajunas sticking and moving to a near faultless degree against Jessica Andrade, ‘Thug’ Rose looked poised to retain her 115 lbs title. With one fell swoop however, Andrade had picked up Namajunas, slammed her to the mat and claimed UFC gold at her second attempt.
Andrade is now on a four-fight winning streak since losing her first title challenge against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and with a deep and talented division chasing her down, ‘Bate Estaca’ will certainly have her work cut out to hold onto the belt.
Despite UFC 237 mostly being a macabre event for the Brazilian fans, the UFC would no doubt have been pleased by the winds of change that blew through the PPV however as prospects routinely knocked off their more experienced counterparts.
With big wins for the likes of Alexander Volkanovski, Jared Cannonier and Ryan Spann against legends Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva and Antônio Rogério Nogueira respectively, UFC 237 has shaken up a whole lot of divisions.
As the UFC prepares for another event this Saturday night, here are five fights that the promotion’s matchmakers should make with the winners of UFC 237’s main card:
Jessica Andrade vs. Suarez/Ansaroff Winner
Jessica Andrade’s slam KO on Rose Namajunas was the epitome of the wild nature of MMA.
Scoring just the 11th slam KO in UFC history (4th in a title fight), Andrade literally flipped the fight in the space of a few seconds to claim the strawweight title.
With Namajunas’ future also uncertain in the immediate aftermath of UFC 237, Andrade should look towards the long line of contenders in her division.
As a Tatiana Suarez – Nina Ansaroff fight approaches at UFC 238, the winner should be unavoidable as the next in line.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway
Going into hostile territory, Alexander Volkanovski put on an excellent performance to nullify Jose Aldo and extend his career winning streak to 17.
Volkanovski is now undoubtedly the number one contender at featherweight and a fight with champion Max Holloway will be a truly exemplary fight.
Jared Cannonier vs. Chris Weidman
While the method of his win over Anderson Silva may not have been what he originally envisioned, the knee injury caused by Jared Cannonier was no fluke.
With a patient striking game that was filled with leg kicks, Cannonier’s power and placement of an inside kick to Silva’s lead leg was enough to knock ‘The Spider’ off his feet and bring the bout to an early end.
Cannonier will now look to build upon his new found success in the middleweight division and a fight with Chris Weidman makes sense for his next outing.
If Cannonier is to prove his worth as a true title contender, he’ll need to face a strong wrestler sooner rather than later and Weidman is no slouch when it comes to taking his opponents down.
Laureano Staropoli vs. Warlley Alves
With a lot of activity and a lot of spinning attacks, Laureano Staropoli defeated Thiago Alves via unanimous decision.
Staropoli is now 2-0 in the UFC and has proved to be a fun watch in his short UFC tenure.
With Warlley Alves knocking off fellow Brazilian Sergio Moraes on the preliminary card earlier in the night, a match-up between the two would test both fighters.
Irene Aldana vs. Sara McMann
Extending her current winning streak to three, Irene Aldana submitted Bethe Correia with a slick armbar in the third and final round.
Aldana has always looked to be a composed fighter in the Octagon and her latest run of fights looks to show her reaching her potential.
With Sara McMann looking to return to competition following the birth of her son, a fight between the two would set up the winner for a top-five opponent in the bantamweight division.