Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas Predictions – UFC 251 Picks

Perhaps the most interesting fight on the main card is Andrade vs Namajunas. This UFC 251 fight is a rematch so we have to dig into the history of the first fight, the numbers, and the mental status of both fighters for this one. Let’s take a look at my Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas predictions.

Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas odds

Women Bantamweight Bout Jessica Andrade Rose Namajunas
To Win Outright +162 -189

In May of 2019 “Thug” Rose Namajunas was fresh off of thoroughly beating Joanna Jedzejczyk for the second time and cementing herself as the true champion of the women’s 115 pound division we witnessed one of the most vicious KOs in MMA history. Rose was well on her way to dismantling Andrade on the feet when she was slammed on her head so hard I legitimately thought that her neck was broken. Since that night Rose has not fought and Andrade went on to lose her title in the first few moments of her fight with current champion Weili Zhang. Both women are coming off of a bad loss and only the winner will find herself in the title picture again.

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UFC Fighter Jessica Andrade
Odds +162
Age 28 years old
Height 5’1
Reach 62’
Wins by KO/TKO 7
Win/Loss 20-7
Finish Rate 70%

Andrade is an absolute tank. At 115 Andrade is unmatched for raw power with the exception of the current champion Weili Zhang. Andrade is limited in her striking ability, but what she lacks she makes up with heavy punishing bombs. Andrade constantly stalks forward and looks to get her powerful hands on her foe and once she does she always has the ability to finish the fight.

Andrade uses wrestling, trips, and slams to get the fight to the mat. Once on the floor, she has a great ground game and is a threat with both submissions and ground and pound. Andrade is a truly dangerous opponent but suffers in this fight from both a size and technique disadvantage. It’s hard to imagine a situation where Andrade wins without a finish.

UFC Fighter Rose Namajunas 
Odds -189
Age 28 years old
Height 5’5
Reach 65’
Wins by Submission 5
Win/Loss 8-4
Finish Rate 76%

It’s hard to imagine possibly the best women’s fighter at 115 and the biggest threat to Weili Zhang has an 8-4 record. Rose competed on The Ultimate Fighter and immediately hit the ground running in the UFC. This is another fighter who we have watched grow in the UFC in front of us with only 3 fights of her professional career taking place prior to getting signed by the UFC.

Rose has been well documented struggling with the mental aspect of MMA and having high levels of anxiety that cause her to have issues in the octagon. Even with this issue she has soared to the highest levels of the sport and appears to be on a mission to get her strap back. Rose has an incredibly technical striking game and utilizes her long reach extremely well. Rose will stick and move, but as she showed in her first fight against Joanna she is capable of sitting on her punches and delivering a knockout blow as well.

Andrade and Namajunas: The matchup

Rose is facing her fears in this fight and coming back to face the woman who so recently dethroned her and she hasn’t even had a warm up fight since. Andrade had a full fight camp and got ready for an extremely dangerous opponent in Zhang so even though she lost we have to give her a slide advantage for being in action more recently. It’s really hard to tell who the lay off will affect more in this position since these women were rescheduled pretty quickly after Andrade lost her belt and the fight was postponed due to COVID19 until now.

Watching the pre-fight interviews and seeing what Rose posts on her social media I personally find Rose in a good headspace leading into this fight. She has been locked in with very few training partners and her head coach and main squeeze Pat Barry. Rose has gone Rocky style on us essentially training in a tiny gym with few partners and just some equipment to get her through this camp.

That might not seem like the best strategy, but the lack of distraction for Rose actually seems to me like it would help her. Rose is one of those unfortunate enough to lose family to COVID 19 which brings another question to the table for me. How much has that affected her? Were they close? Is she fighting emotionally?

When Rose is dialed in and focused she is extremely skilled and dangerous. This fight taking place on Fight Island where there will not be a crowd will very likely play to Rose allowing her to stay dialed in. There is no doubt to me that Rose is the better of these two women, but Andrade has already shown that she is fully capable of overcoming that deficiency.

I have an extremely hard time seeing Rose lose this fight, but I said the same thing the first fight and lost money. I don’t want to lay that price on Rose myself, so for me, this is a pass fight, but if I had to I would be backing Rose.

The Pick: Rose Namajunas -175