Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staged its latest pay-per-view (PPV) event last night (Sat., May 11, 2019), as UFC 237 went down inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the main event of the evening, Jessica Andrade shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by knocking out Rose Namajunas via slam to win the women’s Strawweight title (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Jared Cannonier finished Anderson Silva in the very first round with a vicious kick to the knee the sent “The Spider” crumbling down in pain and put him out for the fight (recap here).
Biggest Winner: Jessica Andrade
Andrade came in the favorite to the title fight as a challenger, so bookies — and anyone with any sort of MMA IQ — knew just what she brought to the table, as her power-punching abilities were in full display in her previous bout. That said, things weren’t looking up for her early on, getting pieced up by the much more technical “Thug Rose,” with Jessica missing on her haymakers. But in the second round, Jessica managed to trap Namajunas in a vulnerable position and proceeded to slam her to the canvas and knock her out cold, “Rampage” style.
The win was her fourth in a row and earned the Brazilian powerhouse her first-ever world title in MMA. It also banked her an extra $100,000. Not a bad night at the office. Now that the world is her oyster, Jessica can take it easy for a few months and allow the rest of the division to play itself out, with a close eye on the upcoming fight between Tatiana Suarez vs Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238.
Runner Up: Alexander Volkanovski
“The Great” kept his outstanding win streak and momentum going by dominating Jose Aldo — the king of Rio — in his own backyard for 15 minutes, having his way with the former Featherweight champion any way he wanted. The win was his seventh straight inside the Octagon — seventeenth overall — and the biggest one of his career to date. Despite Frankie Edgar’s constant pleas to score a championship showdown against Max Holloway next, that right should go to Volkanovski, something I felt belonged to him prior to defeating Aldo. With a win over Jose, it all but locks it up for him as no one in the division is as hot as him at the moment. Sorry, Frankie.
Biggest Loser: B.J. Penn
Unfortunately for one of the best fighters to ever step into the Octagon, he now owns the distinction of having the longest losing streak ever of any fighter employed by UFC. Indeed, after losing to Clay Guida via unanimous decision, “Baby J” has now lost seven in a row with his last win coming nearly a decade ago. Seriously. Where “The Prodigy” goes from here is uncertain, but retirement sounds like the best option, as its clear that he simply doesn’t have it anymore, which is tough to say and see. Penn had a great run early on in his career, but his previous outings simply show a shell of his former self and there isn’t anything else for him to prove. His health should be at the top of his priority list, not trying to rekindle his glory days.