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‘Tractor’ Jessica Andrade reveals strategy to beat Rose Namajunas at UFC 237

Jessica Andrade knocked out Karolina Kowalkiewicz in her last UFC fight.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Jessica Andrade doesn’t mind disclosing her game plan for her upcoming bout against UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 237, scheduled for May 11 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Bate Estaca”, who earned another shot at UFC gold after scoring big wins over Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres and Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a 12-month span, spoke with reporters during a media day recently in Rio de Janeiro and analyzed Namajunas’ game.

Andrade has only lost one of seven bouts since moving down to 115 pounds, the lone defeat coming when she challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title at UFC 211. Namajunas climbed to the top of the division and defeated Jedrzejczyk in 2017 and 2018, and the Brazilian sees similarities in their styles on the feet.

“I’m watching her videos, and the way she’s walking, she’s trying to impose the same style that Joanna does,” Andrade said, “But I’ve evolved a lot and won’t let that happen. I will get there well-prepared for the fight, that’s for sure.”

Jedrzejczyk was able to defeat Andrade on the feet almost two years ago, while “Thug Rose” quickly knocked the Polish star out before winning the rematch via decision five months later.

“Rose has a great striking,” Andrade said. “We can see her improvement, especially in her fights against Joanna. She’s fast, has a bigger reach and is taller than me. The strategy is to back her up (against the cage), and every time she’s put against the cage she comes back more tired in the next round.”

“I believe that the strategy is get her tired and then impose our game and everything will be alright,” she continued. “It’s easy (for her) to fight Joanna, who connects and then runs, but it’s a bit more complicated to fight a tractor that will put pressure the entire time.”

For now, Andrade's idea is to get Namajunas tired inside the Octagon.

“I have to close the distance to make sure she doesn’t land her punches,” Andrade said. “Her punch will be weaker on short range. Don’t give her space to connect her hard punches. Get her arms tired so her punches are weaker, too.”

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