UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas spent the better part of two years solely focused on back-to-back fights against Joanna Jedrzejczyk so it’s understandable that she’s happy to move onto new competition.
At UFC 237 this weekend, Namajunas will look for the second defense of her title against Brazilian wrecking machine Jessica Andrade, who comes into the fight off three straight wins against Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
The change of opponents gives Namajunas a chance to work on some new skills in training camp but it’s also a different kind of demeanor going into a fight against Andrade versus what she dealt with facing Jedrzejczyk.
“Rematches are always tough. I’ve had rematches with [Joanna] and then with Tecia [Torres]. Every fight has its challenges but I’m looking forward to fighting Jessica Andrade, she’s a different kind of fighter,” Namajunas said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “A lot of Joanna’s image was being intimidating and talking a lot and just giving that intimidating aura.
“Jessica is kind of similar but opposite in the way that her fighting style, a lot of people find that intimidating. But she doesn’t rely on her personality to be intimidating. She just speaks with what she does in the cage. It’s a nice switch up.”
In terms of styles, Andrade is a much different animal than Jedrzejczyk.
Throughout her fighting career, Andrade has earned a reputation as an aggressive, offensive machine, who constantly pursues her opposition like she’s the Terminator hunting down John Connor.
Andrade never hides what she does well and it’s up to whoever is standing across the cage to try and stop her.
Namajunas is looking forward to that kind of test because she’s never shied away from revealing her exact game plan ahead of every, single fight.
“My job is just to be myself,” Namajunas said. “Of course she described herself as a tractor, she’s just going to keep coming forward. That’s something to definitely address and something we’ve definitely game planned around in our training camp but at the end of the day the game plan is always the same thing.
“Going into every fight the game plan is always the same thing no matter who I’m fighting — it’s punch them in the face, take their back and choke them out.”
Of course, Namajunas is preparing for every scenario so she’s not going to offer a prediction other than saying that she plans on walking into UFC 237 as champion and leaving with the belt still wrapped around her waist.
“I just find a way to win,” Namajunas said. “We’ll know when I get in there what will happen.”