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UFC 251 live blog: Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas

UFC 251 Usman v Masvidal: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

This is the UFC 251 live blog for Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas, a strawweight main card bout on Saturday’s fight card at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

The ex-champs meet in a rematch 14 months after then-champ Andrade knocked out Namajunas with a slam to capture the title.

Check out the UFC 251 live blog below.

Round 1: The two women meet in the middle to start and Andrade is showing a lot of head movement early while Namajunas is staying light on her feet. One minute in and nothing significant has landed so far. Andrade throws a leg kick and Namajunas lands a sharp counter right that is the first big shot. Now Namajunas is settling in some and has landed a few good shots while Andrade keeps coming up short. Andrade is looking to throw big combinations with huge power but Namajunas is sticking her on the end of the jab and countering well. Namajunas is obviously the much more technical striker bu Andrade is throwing haymakers and has landed a few. A blitzing run forward and Andrade forces a clinch but Namajunas fires a knee that stymies that. Sharp straight punch from Namajunas and now Andrade’s nose is showing it. Another clinch from Andrade and another knee from Namajunas forces a separation. Not much else happens to end the round. Andrade just can’t get anything going and Namajunas looks very sharp.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Namajunas.

Round 2: Andrade would do better to start targeting the body as Namajunas has been very sharp with her defensive head movement in the phone booth. Credit to Andrade, her head movement is greatly improved from their first encounter but she doesn’t have the footwork to get where she want to be. This round is looking similar to the first through 90 seconds. Andrade trying to get inside and Namajunas pumping the jab. Namajunas landing some good shots bu HUGE body shot from Andrade seems to maybe slow Namajunas some. A big right hand from Andrade too and now she’s having more success at corralling Namajunas. Namajunas throws another knee which forces a quick takedown scramble. A brief respite afterwards for both women and now Namajunas is back to picking her off at range. Andrade forces a clinch but nothing happens. On the break, a good body kick lands for Andrade. The pace is starting to slow down but Andrade lands another hook to the body, ducks, and eats a knee. With short-time, the two women get into a bit of a wild brawl with Andrade landing the better shots but both women missing more than landing.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Namajunas (20-18 overall).

Round 3: Final round and Andrade may need a stoppage, though round two was close. Andrade lands a few decent punches early in the round but she’s still having trouble navigating the distance Namajunas is establishing. Big right hand from Namajunas in an exchange gets Andrade’s attention but a good right hand from Andrade has Namajunas bleeding from the nose. Another big shot from Andrade earns Namajunas’s attention and Namajunas is definitely slowing. BIG RIGHT HAND FROM ANDRADE HURTS NAMAJUNAS! Immediately the two go to the ground and Andrade is landing shots from the top while Namajunas works a triangle. Namajunas kicks Andrade off but she is pouring blood now and has definitely lost a step. Namajunas lands a big right hand! Andrade lands her own right that snaps Rose’s head around! What a fight! Namajunas is still firing out at a high rate but Andrade is landing much more now. Namajunas scores a takedown! But Andrade immediately reverses and the two are standing again. With short time, nothing happens before the final bell. This could go either way and honestly, Andrade was likely hurt by this only being three rounds.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Andrade, 29-28 Namajunas overall.

OFFICIAL DECISION: Rose Namajunas defeats Jessica Andrade by split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28

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