UFC 237 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will provide us the first ever UFC PPV event headlined by the smallest division in the company. Women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas will put her 115-pound title on the line when she head’s into enemy territory to take on Jessica Andrade in a critical fight for the division. Namajunas has been inactive for over a year since scoring a decision win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk in April 2018 — a rematch of their first fight where Namajunas stopped the formerly unbeaten champion in the first round.
Andrade, meanwhile, has run through her last three opponents since losing to Jedrzejczyk in 2017, earning two performance bonuses along the way. In the co-main event, it’s the return of Anderson Silva when he squares off against Jared Cannonier. It’s the quickest turnaround of Silva’s legendary career, having lost by decision to Israel Adesanya at UFC 234 in February. It’s also a fight that seems to serve no purpose for Silva’s future in the division or company against the No. 10 ranked man in the middleweight division.
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This card could be the final send off for many legends in the sport with Jose Aldo, Thiago Alves, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, BJ Penn and Clay Guida all in action. Let’s take a look at the complete card with the latest odds from Westgate.
UFC 237 odds
Jessica Andrade -120
Rose Namajunas (c) +100
Women’s strawweight title
Jared Cannonier -135
Anderson Silva +115
Jose Aldo -135
Alexander Volkanovski +115
Thiago Alves -110
Laureano Staropoli -110
Irene Aldana -330
Bethe Correia +260
Ryan Spann -140
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira +120
Thiago Moises -120
Kurt Holobaugh +100
|Clay Guida -700||BJ Penn +500||Lightweight|
|Luana Carolina -170||Priscila Cachoeira +145||Women’s flyweight|
|Warlley Alves -135||Sergio Moraes +115||Welterweight|
|Raoni Barcelos -1000||Carlos Huachin +650||Bantamweight|
|Talita Bernardo -450||Melissa Gatto +350||Women’s bantamweight|
With a big card on tap, our experts took a crack at picking each of the main card fights. Here are your pick makers: Brian Campbell (combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (editor).
UFC 237 predictions
Namajunas (c) vs. Andrade
Cannonier vs. Silva
Aldo vs. Volkanovski
Alves vs. Staropoli
Aldana vs. Correia
Campbell on why Andrade will win: For all of the deserved adulation Namajunas has received regarding her evolution as a fighter, it’s hard to deny Andrade the same respect. Yes, she lost her only title shot to date against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (who was twice beaten by Namajunas). But MMA math doesn’t necessarily work that way or properly predict that Namajunas should be, by default, named the favorite. Not only is Andrade fighting in her home country, she’s riding a three-fight win streak against top contenders, including a vicious knockout of Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Styles make fights and Andrade’s power is a bad style matchup for just about anyone in the division. Namajunas is great but it feels like Andrade’s time.
Wise on why Namajunas will win: As far as calculated tacticians go, “Thug” Rose is starting to climb the ranks. After shocking the world with her stoppage of Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she remained in control for a decision win over the previously unbeaten champ in their rematch. While she has yet to face somebody with the power of Andrade, I have faith in her training with striking coach Trevor Wittman to put together the perfect gameplan, filled with plenty of matador-style movement. It might not be pretty, but it will get the job done while fighting in enemy territory.
Crosby on why Aldo will win: I’ve said before, this José Aldo resurgence is one of my favorite storylines currently playing out in UFC. It’s almost as if he rebooted himself following the two consecutive losses to Max Holloway and is quickly earning back the reputation as one of the scariest featherweight fighters on the planet. Volkanovski’s six straight wins to begin his UFC career is nothing to scoff at by any means, and he undoubtedly has a bright future in the division. Until proven otherwise, though, I have no reason to believe Aldo’s climb back towards what could be one last title shot ends anytime soon.
Wise on why Volkanovski will win: If you weren’t familiar with the Australian brawler before his bout with Chad Mendes at UFC 232, you should know by now that he is not to be taken lightly. Volkanovski is a seemingly terrible style matchup for just about anyone in the division, posting a perfect 6-0 mark since joining UFC in 2016. It might be one of the final times we see Jose Aldo in the cage, but I don’t see this being the homecoming he planned on.
Who wins Namajunas vs. Andrade and Silva vs. Cannonier? And how does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to see which fighters you need to be all over Saturday at UFC 237, all from the incomparable expert who’s up more than $21,000 in MMA picks in the last year.