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Jessica Andrade: Rose Namajunas is the favorite at UFC 237 because ‘she beat Joanna twice and I couldn’t’

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Jessica Andrade challenges Rose Namajunas for the strawweight title at UFC 237.
Wander Roberto, Inovafoto

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Rose Namajunas was a huge underdog the night she shocked the world and knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win the UFC strawweight belt. She was an underdog in the rematch as well. And now, at UFC 237, Namajunas once again finds herself the betting underdog against Jessica Andrade.

But if you ask her opponent, “Thug Rose” is the favorite to win at tonight's main event.

”I always consider myself to be the underdog,” Andrade said. “Rose is the champion, she beat Joanna twice and I couldn’t. I believe I’ve evolved a lot since that fight with Joanna.

”I’m going there as the underdog. Deep inside I know I’m the underdog, and I fight better like that. I have to give my best in there, and that’s why I like being the underdog. Rose is the favorite, and I’m going there to do my job.”

Namajunas and Andrade are both riding three-fight winning streaks since their last decision defeats.

Andrade earned a shot at the strawweight championship after beating Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz following her first attempt to capture the title, a decision loss to Jedrzejczyk in 2017. Namajunas, meanwhile, finished Michelle Waterson before twice beating Jedrzejczyk.

”People say my game is better than hers, but I disagree,” Andrade said. “Everybody is good at something. The only difference is that I’m stronger. I have a good ground game too, my striking is also very aggressive, but Rose has been showing a big evolution in her last fights. I believe it will be a moment to test ourselves inside the Octagon.”

UFC 237 will take place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and air live on pay-per-view on ESPN+.