If we spoke five years ago, and I told you that a card will feature José Aldo and Anderson Silva and neither of them are headlining nor fighting for a belt, you would have slapped me and called me crazy, but that is what we have as UFC 237 goes down tonight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the dreaded ESPN+ Pay-Per-View. The card is headlined by the Women’s Strawweight title fight between champion, Rose Namajunas, and challenger, Jessica Andrade. “Thug” Rose comes into enemy territory against Andrade and is the betting underdog. This will be Andrade’s 2nd attempt at claiming UFC gold after failing in her first attempt in a decision loss to former champ, Joanna Jedrzejczyk back at UFC 211 in May of 2017. Since then, Andrade has gone on a three-fight win streak, easily defeating the likes of Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, and viciously knocking out Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Namajunas comes into this fight looking for her 2nd title defense. She has beaten former champ, Jedrzejczyk, twice in a row. She pulled off the unthinkable at UFC 217 by knocking out Joanna in the first round and then besting her on the feet for five rounds in the rematch at UFC 223. In my opinion, this is the highest level of skill we have had for a women’s title fight in UFC history. There are no clear holes in either woman’s game as both have proven to win fights both on the ground and on the feet. This will be a tough one to call.
Anderson Silva will fight Jared Cannonier in the co-main event in what could be Silva’s swan song. Unfortunately for Silva, Cannonier is no pushover and will look to brutally defeat “The Spider” to end his legendary career. José Aldo has caught a 2nd wind in his career after his demoralizing losses to Max Holloway. He has finished both Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano in his last two fights and will look to take out another young, up-and-comer in Alexander Volkanovski. Volkanovski is an undefeated 5-0 so far in his UFC career and is coming off a TKO win against Chad Mendes back in December at UFC 232. This could a night where three hometown heroes go 0-3 in the final three fights of the night.
Other than the three main fights, there is really nothing else to look forward to besides watching Ryan Spann and Raoni Barcelos. Both Spann and Barcelos are fun, high-volume fighters who should be able to win their fights tonight. Spann is in the featured prelim bout against Little Nog and Barcelos is on the early prelims vs. Carlos Huachin. BJ Penn fights Clay Guida to kick off the prelims on ESPN. Yayyyyyy……
Namajunas(DEC), Cannonier(TKO), Aldo(TKO), Staropoli(DEC), Aldana(DEC), Spann(TKO), Moises(SUB), Alves(SUB), Guida(TKO), Carolina(DEC), Barcelos(KO), Bernardo(DEC)
How to Watch: Main card: ESPN+ PPV($59.99 w/subscription), Prelims: ESPN, Early Prelims: ESPN+ or UFC Fight Pass