UFC 237 Full Report: Andrade Becomes New Strawweight Champion

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.

UFC 230: Daniel Cormier Successfully Defends Heavyweight Championship via Submission

On Saturday UFC put on their third show inside Madison Square Garden. This has become something of a tradition for the brand, with the MSG events being a supercard. Two years ago UFC made their New York City debut when Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in the the second round at UFC 205. Last year at UFC 217 George St. Pierre defeated Michael Bisping on a three title card. This time around it’s Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis for the Heavyweight Championship.

This card was something that was originally set to be a supercard, but didn’t become such a thing after many fights falling through. The biggest of fight cancelled was Nate Diaz versus Dustin Poirier in what could be considered a fan friendly fight. There was also another championship bout that was originally planned for this card, being Valentina Shevchenko versus Sijara Eubanks for the Flyweight Championship. This did not happen because Shevchenko was rebooked for a fight against Joanna Jędrzejczyk on the December Toronto card. Eubanks was given Roxanne Modafferi in a prelim bout on this card instead.

The main event of the evening was Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis. Lewis is fighting in a miraculous turnaround time from his last bout at UFC 229 against Alexander Volkov. In that bought Lewis was seconds away from losing on the scorecards when he got a stoppage win on Volkov. Lewis received a spike in Instagram followers, around triple the amount he had before after giving an entertaining post fight interview. Cormier is coming off a summer victory against Stipe Miocic. He broke the Heavyweight fighter’s streak of title defenses with a first round knockout. Some say that Miocic deserved the rematch before others due to his dominance as a champion before his loss.

Below the main event was 11 other bouts. Starting off the PPV was Israel Adesanya versus Derek Brunson. Adesanya has put on dominant performances lately, with his last one coming at  The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale against Brad Tavares. In the co-main event slot for the evening was Chris Weidman versus Jacare Souza. Weidman fought on the 205 card two years ago and made his return to his home state with this bout. Before any of this happened, the evening began on UFC’s OTT service UFC Fight Pass with the Early Prelims.

  1. The first fight on the Early Prelims was slightly delayed since the second bout between Brian Kelleher versus Montel Jackson was cancelled. Opening the show was Marcus Rogerio de Lima versus Adam Wieczorek. Both heavyweights were on the ground for the majority of the first round. De Lima had top position most of the time and started to land strikes in the final 20 seconds. The second round was mostly stand-up, with de Lima landing more shots. By the end of the second round Wieczorek was wobbling around the place. The commentary team took a liking to de Lima’s leg kicks throughout the second. The final round went in the way of de Lima but did not have any noteworthy action. All three judges had it 30-27 for de Lima.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
De Lima 10 10 10 30
Wieczorek 9 9 9 27
  1. Continuing on with the UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims, Kurt Holobaugh had his second fight in his current run in the promotion. Holobaugh was a pickup from the Contender Series, but his fight from the series is no longer valid due to a drug test. Since then he has also lost a fight. He faces Shane Burgos who is coming off his first loss since coming into the UFC. Both fighters were absolutely swinging for the first two minutes of the bout. Holobaugh seemed to have the advantage in the stand-up field. Burgos got dropped two minutes in from a punch but seemed to recover quickly from it. When Holobaugh went to the ground to land more punches he found himself in an armbar that ended the bout. It was an amazing turn of events for Burgos.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Holobaugh
Burgos
  1. Finishing off the early prelims was Matt Frevola versus Lando Vannata. Frevola is a new UFC fighter who lost his debut fight after winning a Contender Series bout. Vannata hasn’t won in a long time, losing two fights and tying one since 2017. Both of these fighters were absolutely explosive in the first round. Frevola got dropped from a kick but recovered very quickly. He was also given some breathing room as the fight was paused for his mouthguard to be put back in. With under two minutes left in the first Vannata looked like he was in trouble when he got tagged with a right. In the final seconds of the round there was absolute chaos. Frevola landed an amazing flurry of strikes then tried for a Guillotine in the final moments. Vannata escaped the Guillotine before time ran out. Early in the second round Frevola got tagged hard with kicks, then dropped with a right moments later. Frevola showed an amazing chin, being able to recover and stay up despite being continually pelted. Frevola tried for a takedown in the final moments of round two but fell into a Guillotine. Lucky for him the time in the round ran out. In the third Vannata caught Frevola’s leg for a takedown but took 3 or so punches clean to the head on the way down. Frevola got a takedown of his own with just over a minute left, but Vannata got up very shortly after. The fight went the distance leaving the judges to decide. This could have went both ways, so it did. The judges scored it a draw (29-28, 28-28 & 28-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Frevola 10 9 10 29
Vannata 9 10 9 28
  1. Starting off the UFC Prelims on FS1 was Lyman Good versus Ben Saunders. This fight was close until Good landed uppercuts in a clinch that took Saunders out. This was a very quick finish that caught me off guard.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Good
Saunders
  1. After the quickest finish of the night, the next bout was Julio Arce versus Sheymon Moraes. In the first minute of the fight Arce got dropped hard by a right hook. He was able to recover on the ground and make his way back to his feet. Later in the round Arce mounted Moraes and kept trying for a Rear Naked Choke. In the second round Arce started bleeding heavily, which had the commentators worried. With just over a minute left in the second, Arce floored Moraes with a strike. Both of these guys were so bloodied that it was disgusting. The fight went the distance after a close strictly kickboxing final round. The judges gave Moraes the win via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Arce 9 10 9 28
Moraes 10 9 10 29
  1. The next bout was a rematch from The Ultimate Fighter. Sijara Eubanks fought Roxanne Modafferi for the second time in their careers. Eubanks did not make weight the day before, but this fight was still on. The first minute and a half of the first was striking where, while nobody was doing visible damage, Eubanks was more dominant. Eubanks landed a takedown, making most of the first round stay on the ground. Modafferi continued to look not that confident in stand up in the second round. Eubanks seemed to have more power in her strikes. Modafferi had decent ground game at the end of round 2 as both fighters were very tired. Modafferi looked the best striking-wise in the third because she landed much more shots. Eubanks ended up out-powering in the third similarly to how she did in the first, except with less power. The fight went to the judges who tallied it in favour of Eubanks Unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#4 Eubanks 10 9 10 29
#7 Modafferi 9 10 9 28
  1. Finishing off the preliminary card was Jason Knight versus Jordan Rinaldi. The first round was mostly on the ground with Rinaldi on top. While Knight had more significant strikes in the round, Rinaldi had control for the majority of the time. In the second round Rinaldi was dominating and trying for moves on the ground but Knight was able to defend. Rinaldi put in a Rear Naked Choke in the third round that Knight somehow found a way out of. The fight went the distance with both guys being very tired by the end. The judges gave the fight to Rinaldi by quite the margin (30-27, 30-25 & 30-26)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Knight 9 9 8 26
Rinaldi 10 10 10 30
  1. The PPV portion of the show kicked off with Israel Adesanya versus Derek Brunson. Leading up to this fight the idea was that it would be the experienced kickboxer Adesanya versus Brunson who is the much better boxer. Very early on in the first round Brunson clinched up and went to the fence. Brunson got taken off the cage after grabbing Adesanya’s shorts twice. Adesanya flipped off Brunson while referee Herb Dean was talking to Brunson. There was the option to take away points because of this, but it didn’t happen. Adesanya guarded a takedown attempt well, but Brunson went to the cage on another attempt right after. Adesanya landed a flurry of kicks, knees and punches in the final minute that had Brunson in a defensive mode. Brunson got dropped over and over until the fight got stopped with ten seconds left. What gave Adesanya the win wasn’t his stellar kickboxing but rather his ability to keep the fight in his own wheelhouse. After this fight the newly signed fighter from ONE Championship Ben Askren was shown in the crowd.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#6 Brunson
#9 Adesanya
  1. In what feels like a main card bout that was swept under the promotional rug, Karl Roberson fought Jack Marshman. In the first round Roberson was moving and swinging faster than Marshman. Marshman got clipped mid-way through the round but stayed standing. Near the end of the round the commentary team pointed out that the volume of punches from Roberson had significantly dropped off. Through round two and three Marshman continued to get hit but at a much slower pace than round one. It was consistently the left hand that Roberson was landing. With two and a half minutes left Roberson landed a takedown. The final round ended with most people already considering Roberson the winner. Judges gave Roberson the win Unanimously (30-26, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Roberson 10 10 10 30
Marshman 9 9 9 27
  1. The tenth fight of the evening was Dave Branch versus Jared Cannonier. Cannonier had quite the confident walkout. Branch got a pop from the crowd after being billed out of Brooklyn. Branch landed a takedown but didn’t stay on the ground for long. Cannonier was landing more strikes throughout the round and had decent ground defence. At the start of the second round Branch got absolutely floored by a right, and took a few more shots on the ground before the ref stopped it.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#7 Branch 9
Cannonier 10
  1. The co-main event of the evening was Chris Weidman facing Jacare Souza in a Middleweight bout. The crowd was wildly in favour of Weidman, but that’s no surprise because he is one to wear his home state on his sleeve. The fight was very neutral in the first round until Weidman landed a combo with his hands clean. After this moment it seemed like both guys started to open up much more. Souza started to throw and connect more in the second round. Souza was bleeding from the nose badly in the second. Souza slipped and fell after throwing a kick in the final minute of the second. Souza and Weidman were clinched against the cage until the final moments of the round when they went back to stand up. With over two minutes left Souza dropped Weidman with a strikes. You could tell from the moment Weidman was down that he was out. Souza stared at Weidman who was down, not throwing any extra punches because he assumed it was over. The referee didn’t end it and Weidman clutched Souza’s foot, so Souza did four more shots before the ref ended it. Souza looked disappointed that the referee did not end it. This was quite the comeback as Souza was down 2-0 heading into the third. The whole third round Souza was being more aggressive than the two before.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#3 Weidman 10 10
#5 Souza 9 9
  1. Up next was the main event of the evening in Madison Square Garden. Double champion Daniel Cormier defended his Heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis, who achieved stardom after his viral victory against Alexander Volkov. In the first minute of the fight Cormier landed a takedown. Lewis got up with over two minutes left in the first, still pinned against the cage by Cormier. Cormier landed a trip which brought Lewis back to the ground. They stayed on the ground until the first round ran out. Similar to the first, Cormier spent a minute closing a distance in the second and then landed a takedown. On the ground Cormier put in a Rear Naked Choke that made Lewis tap quickly. The commentary team knew almost immediately that it was over once it was put in. After the fight Cormier called out Brock Lesnar, telling him to bring his WWE Universal Championship if he faces him.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
© Cormier 10
#2 Lewis 9

UFC wraps up 2018 with two December PPV cards. The first of the two takes place in Toronto with Max Holloway and Brian Ortega in the main event. Also in another title fight is Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko fighting for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship. UFC 232 is the company’s final event of the year, with Jon Jones returning to face Alexander Gustafsson in a Light Heavyweight Championship bout. Below them is also Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes fighting for the Featherweight Championship.

Next week UFC heads to Denver, Colorado for Fight Night #139. It’s the finale of UFC’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, with the event taking place in the same city that the first UFC event was held in. The main event is “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung versus Yair Rodriguez. The co-main event is equally entertaining as it has Donald Cerrone versus Mike Perry.