UFC returned on Saturday with another one of their pay-per-view hallmark events. UFC 237 included a Strawweight Championship bout between defending champ Rose Namajunas and challenger Jessica Andrade. Andrade, like many names on this card, were fighting in the comfort of their passionate home country of Brazil. The card was booked accordingly, with 14 Brazilian fighters on the 12 bout card. Among them were Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva, two big names not only in Brazilian MMA but MMA in general. Let’s go through the whole evening of festivities, starting with the preliminary fights.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Talita Bernardo (#15) (5-3) vs. Viviane Araujo (6-1) (Bantamweight)

Kicking off the evening was a Brazilian versus Brazilian matchup, with Viviane Araujo debuting against Talita Bernardo. Araujo had a successful run in the Japanese promotion Pancrase in recent years. In this fight Araujo was constantly bouncing on her toes, coming in for combos or strikes and then backing out. In the final minute of the first round, Bernardo shot for a takedown which Araujo took control of, taking the top position. Araujo tries for a rear naked choke as the round concluded. Bernardo started to land more strikes at the start of the second. Araujo started to land her overhand right with great power. Another takedown was defended by Araujo. Araujo landed a takedown with roughly a minute left in the second round.  Bernardo landed a great combo as the round ended. In the first minute of round three, Araujo dropped Bernardo with a right hand. No extra strikes were needed to conclude the bout. She had previously fought at Strawweight in her career, and said after the bout that she plans to go back to that division.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Bernardo1010

Araujo99

Bout 2: Raoni Barcelos (13-1) vs. Carlos Huachin (10-3-2) (Bantamweight)

The next bout was Brazilian Raoni Barcelos versus Carlos Huachin. Both fighters were throwing some heavy hands in the first round. The tempo of strikes thrown in the first was very fast. Barcelos tried for a takedown at the start of the second round but take up unsuccessful. Huachin was dropped by a right jab. Barcelos attempted to finish the fight on the ground, landing tons of punches. Huachin made himself vulnerable to many holds, with Barcelos trying things from many angles. In the final moments of the second round, Barcelos started to land elbows which made the referee step in and end the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Barcelos9


Huachin10


Bout 3: Priscila Cachoeira (8-2) vs. Luana Carolina (5-1) (Flyweight)

The Fight Pass Early Prelims finished with Priscila Cachoeira and Luana Carolina facing each other. Throughout the first round, Carolina was using a thai clinch to slow down offense or land strikes. Cachoeira was the fighter consistently walking down her opponent. Carolina got a cut under her eye. Cachoeira caught a kick at one point and then made Carolina fall by kicking the other leg off balance. Both fighters had great moments in the first round. After Cachoeira was eating strikes for quite some time, she was floored by a kick to the head. Carolina tried for a submission the ground afterwards, putting in an armbar that did not put away the fight. As they were about to go to their feet, Carolina landed a knee to a still grounded Cachoeira. There was a pause in the fight, but a point was not taken away. They went back to the ground for a little of the final minute of the second round. Carolina continued to outstrike a very fatigued Cachoeira in the final round. The judges gave Luana Carolina the win unanimously (30-26, 30-26 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Cachoeira98926
Carolina10101030

Bout 4: Clay Guida (34-18) vs. BJ Penn (16-13-2) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the prelims on ESPN was veterans Clay Guida and BJ Penn facing each other. Guida went into this bout as a -700 favourite. In the first round Penn was much more composed while Guida was doing his usual all around the place fight style. Guida shot for a takedown in the second round but wasn’t successful. Penn was getting hit consistently with punches in the final round. The judges gave Clay Guida a unanimous victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Guida9101029
Penn109928

Bout 5: Warlley Alves (12-3) vs. Sergio Moraes (14-4-1) (Welterweight)

Continuing on with the prelims, Warlley Alves fought Sergio Moraes in a Welterweight bout. In the first round, Moraes was landing good combos. Alves threw tons of kicks. There was a pause after Moraes said he got poked in the eyes. The kicks continued to be effective for Alves in the second round. In the final round he started to tee off with punches. After a very dominant performance throughout, Alves finally ended the fight in it’s final scheduled minute. A knee and an uppercut is what put away Moraes.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Alves1010

Moraes99

Bout 6: Thiago Moises (11-3) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (17-6) (Lightweight)

It was a battle between two Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series fighters in the next bout. As many people will/have tonight, Holobaugh got boos from the crowd. Both fighters were hot out the gates, with Holobaugh shooting for a takedown up against the cage. He didn’t get it, with Moises keeping it was stand-up. He tried again a minute later but didn’t get a different result. Moises landed a takedown shortly after. He landed elbows while in half guard. At the start of round two, Holobaugh got hit with some hard punches but shook them off. He landed a double leg takedown and stayed on the ground for a short amount of time. Holobaugh started to string together some good combinations in the second half of the round. Holobaugh slipped in the third round after a kick to the leg, letting Moises take top position on the ground. Shortly after they got back up, Moises landed a single leg takedown. Moises put in a rear naked choke but couldn’t finish the bout with it. Holobaugh was on top for a minute or so on the ground. Moises landed a hard slam for a takedown, landing strikes on the ground until the final round ended. The judges all gave Thiago Moises the victory (30-26, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Moises10101030
Holobaugh99927

Bout 7: Rogerio Nogueira (23-8) vs. Ryan Spann (15-5) (Light Heavyweight)

Finishing off the preliminary card for UFC 237 was Rogerio Nogueira facing Ryan Spann. Spann landed a takedown within the first minute, putting in an arm triangle that Nogueira escaped. Spann tried for another takedown but couldn’t land it. Spann dropped Nogueira with a left uppercut that ended the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Nogueira



Spann



Main Card

Bout 8: Irene Aldana (#11) (9-4) vs. Bethe Correia (#13) (10-3-1) (Bantamweight)

The main card started with Irene Aldana facing Bethe Correira. Corriera weighed in at 141 for this 135-pound bout, but Aldana agreed to continue on with the bout. She lost 40% of her fight purse due to not making weight in time. The first round was a slow one with Aldana finding success by using her reach advantage. Correira found ways to close the distance in the second round and land more of her own strikes. In the final round, Correira started to string together good combinations, consistently being the one who was advancing in the octagon. When the fight went to the ground with a takedown from Corriera, but Aldana showed good defence and put in an armbar and got a submission victory. Correira was bleeding heavily afterwards.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Aldana109

Correia910

Bout 9: Thiago Alves (23-13) vs. Laureano Staropoli (8-1) (Welterweight)

The next fight on the card was Thiago Alves versus Laureano Staropoli. The fight was mostly a close striking battle. The final round started with very aggressive swinging by both guys. Alves landed a takedown, but Staropoli got up moments later. They both had great pacing, still throwing with speed and power in the third round. Alves tried for a second takedown but was stopped. The fight went the distance with the judges gave Staropoli the win (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Alves99927
Staropoli10101030

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (#1) (28-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (#4) (19-1) (Featherweight)

Jose Aldo fought in his home country against Alexander Volkanovski in the next matchup. The first round was a striking battle, with both fighters being very methodical. Volkanovski seemingly landed more, but every time Aldo did anything the crowd would become unglued. Aldo was poked in the eye in the second, making a warning get issued to Volkanovski. The final round was the continuation of the dominant performance that Volkanovski was already putting on. All three judges gave Alexander Volkanovski the victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Aldo99927
Volkanovski10101030

Bout 11: Jared Cannonier (#10) (11-4) vs. Anderson Silva (34-9) (#14) (Middleweight)

In the co-main event slot of the PPV, Anderson Silva fought Jared Cannonier. The first round was somewhat close until Silva was dropped by a leg kick. He fell down and obviously injured his right leg. The fight was ended by referee Herb Dean. Cannonier was getting booed after the fight, and said that he didn’t respect the crowd since they aren’t respecting him.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Cannonier



Silva



Bout 12: Rose Namajunas © (8-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (19-6) (#1) (Strawweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, “Thug” Rose Namajunas put her Strawweight Championship on the line against Jessica Andrade. In the first round, Namajunas was consistently hitting Andrade with jabs. Very early on Andrade had a cut around an eye. Andrade got ahold of Namajunas and slammed her down, but couldn’t get anything done before Namajunas brought it back to the feet. Namajunas landed a takedown as well, but both of them getting up almost right after. After Namajunas landed a knee, Andrade went to the ground in full defensive mode. The first round ended with Namajunas defending a takedown. Andrade showed more life in the second by throwing combinations. Near the end of the second round, Andrade slammed Namajunas on her head for a takedown, knocking her out and ending the bout. Jessica Andrade is the new UFC Strawweight Champion. Andrade and her corner were all very emotional afterwards.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total
Namajunas10




Andrade9




UFC returns next weekend with “UFC ON ESPN+ 10” in Rochester, New York, with Rafael Dos Anjos and Kevin Lee main eventing. The next pay-per-view that the promotion is running is just under a month away, with Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes fighting for the Bantamweight Championship. Also on the card, Valentina Shevchenko will defend her Flyweight Championship against Jessica Eye.