UFC 237: Namajunas vs Andrade follows up on an epic UFC 236 card that featured two of the most entertaining title fights in recent memory. UFC 237, which will stream as a pay-per-view on ESPN+, is highlighted by two of the sport’s most decorated legends alongside the always exciting women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas.
Despite both Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo being featured on the main card, Namajunes and her opponent, Jessica Andrade, are taking center stage at UFC 237. After dethroning dominant strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and defending the belt in an immediate rematch, Namajunas is finally able to turn her attention to the rest of the division. In Andrade, she gets a battle-tested and crafty opponent that has taken down a who’s who of the strawweight division. Known for trying to lure fights into a brawl where she can use her incredible strength advantage, Andrade is one of the most exciting pound-for-pound fighters to watch.
Andrade, along with a number of other fighters on the card, gets to fight in front of a raucous home crowd. Taking place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro, the vast majority of the card features Brazilian fighters. With such a loaded card taking place in one of the UFC’s biggest hotbeds, UFC 237 has all the makings of an excellent night of fights.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. When Is UFC 237?
The main card for UFC 237 starts at 10:00 pm ET on Saturday, May 11. It features a number of exciting fights beyond the Namajunas vs Andrade championship bout.
The prelim fights for UFC 237 get started at 8:00 pm ET and can be watched on ESPN. Brazilian MMA legend Antonio Rogerio “Minotauro” Nogueira headlines the prelims as he takes on exciting young prospect, Ryan Spann. Among the prelim fights is something you might find on the UFC 73 main card, BJ Penn takes on Clay Guida in a matchup of two UFC lightweight icons. While both fighters peaked well over a decade ago, the matchup should be fun for nostalgia’s sake, even though BJ Penn has dropped his last six fights and is a shell of the man who once was the UFC’s second multi-division champion.
The early prelims kick off even earlier at 6:15 pm ET. Arguably the most exciting prospect on the Early Prelims is bantamweight Said Nurmagomedov – no relation to Khabib. Despite not being related to the lightweight king, the two share a similar style of fighting as Said possesses a smothering ground game to go along with a raw but effective stand-up game.
2. Who Is Fighting on the UFC 237 Card?
UFC 237 is loaded with Brazilian MMA icons to showcase in front of a home crowd. Featuring Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, “Minotauro” Nogueira, and Thiago Alves, UFC 237 isn’t short on star power – and that is without even mentioning the main event. Rose Namajunas is coming off consecutive wins over one of the UFC’s most dominant champions while Brazilian Jessica Andrade is known for being one of the most dangerous women on the UFC’s roster.
Outside of Namajunas, the most exciting non-Brazilian fighter to keep an eye on looks to be Jared Cannonier. Cannonier is a striker first and foremost and showed off some improved takedown defense in his most recent fight against David Branch. Cannonier had previously fought at light heavyweight but after his impressive win over Branch in his debut at middleweight, he gets a big step up in competition at 180 pounds.
Another fighter worth keeping an eye on is Alexander Volkanovski. Volkanovski has gone on a tear since entering the UFC and a win over Aldo likely sets him up for a shot at Max Holloway and the featherweight belt.
UFC 237 airs May 11 on ESPN+. Order it here.
3. What Are the UFC 237 Betting Odds?
UFC 237 betting odds are as follows:
Rose Namajunas (+105) vs Jessica Andrade (-135)
Jared Cannonier (-150) vs Anderson Silva (+120)
Jose Aldo (-135) vs Alexander Volkanovski (+105)
Thiago Alves (+100) vs Laureano Staropoli (-130)
Irene Aldana (-370) vs Bethe Correia (+280)
4. What Are Heavy’s UFC 237 Predictions?
Here are Heavy’s UFC 237 predictions:
Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade
Women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is one of the most exciting fighters on the planet. With an incredibly well-rounded style of fighting, Namajunas is comfortable wherever her opponent wants to take the fight. While Namajunas doesn’t always pick up the finish, she isn’t shy about stepping into the pocket and trading heavy shots with her opponents. With a number of fight of the night/performance of the night awards since jumping over to the UFC, Namajunas is almost always good for an exciting matchup.
Jessica Andrade is giving up a decent amount of height but should enter the ring the far stronger woman. Andrade needs to find a way to keep the slippery Namajunas down and wear her down with that brutalizing strength. If she is able to do that is an entirely different story and there is a good reason as to why Namajunas has the belt. Expect a close five-round war between the two with Namajunas sneaking out a close decision win.
Jared Cannonier vs Anderson Silva
Jared Cannonier got back into the win column in his last fight after back to back losses at the hands of Dominick Reyes and Jan Błachowicz. While UFC legend and former pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva has also lost two of his last three, his losses have come at the hands of champions Daniel Cormier and Israel Adesanya. Silva’s win also came against top middleweight contender Derek Brunson, a far step up from Cannonier’s win over David Branch.
Despite Silva’s age, he has still looked the part of a top fighter against some of the promotion’s brightest stars. Especially fighting in front of his home Brazilian crowd, look for Anderson Silva to simply pick apart Cannonier on the feet and put on a vintage “Spider” striking clinic.
Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski
UFC 237 features another former pound-for-pound king in Jose Aldo. After losing his belt and dropping consecutive fights to Max Holloway, Aldo has picked up back to back wins and has inserted himself back into the featherweight contender conversation. He faces top featherweight prospect Alexander Volkanovski in what should be a title eliminator for the next shot at Holloway and his belt. Especially after Poirier stuffed Holloway’s attempt to step up in weight, an impending title shot for the winner shouldn’t be too far off.
Despite picking up a few submission wins early in his career, Volkanovski has been utterly demolishing opponents with his hands since making the jump to the UFC. If Volkanovski can pressure Aldo and get inside, his hands should be able to do some damage and win him the fight. However, if the fight stays at an arm’s length, expect Aldo to pick Volkanovski apart.
Thiago Alves vs Laureano Staropoli
The hard-hitting UFC veteran Thiago Alves gets the call in front of his fellow countrymen and faces off with exciting prospect Laureano Staropoli. Alves has struggled in recent years but is coming off a tough split decision win over Max Griffin. He gets the honor of welcoming Laureano Staropoli to his PPV debut and should prove to be an excellent test for the welterweight prospect.
Alves is an old-school striker and either knocks someone out, gets knocked out, or goes the distance trying to finish a fight. Staropoli undoubtedly faces his toughest test yet and is a huge wildcard heading into the matchup. He has looked great against weaker competition but Alves is a MUCH better fighter than anyone he has faced before. Look for Thiago Alves to pull off a classic knockout win in front of his home crowd as the young Staropoli will likely get a bit TOO comfortable against the wily and dangerous vet.
Irene Aldana vs Bethe Correia
Bumped up to the main card after Carlos Diego Ferriera was unable to make the weigh-ins due to kidney stones, Irene Aldana takes on Bethe Correia in a women’s bantamweight matchup. Bethe Correia was once one of the most feared fighters in the UFC and faced Ronda Rousey for the belt at UFC 190. However, Correia was knocked out by Rousey in just 34 seconds and has struggled since. Going just 1-3-1 over her last five fights, Correia is desperately looking to get back into the win column and make another run at the belt.
Irene Aldana stumbled upon getting started in the UFC but has quickly found her footing as she has picked up back to back wins, including a split decision thriller that won ‘Fight of the Night’ against Lucie Pudilová. Aldana is proficient on the ground but is able to do her best work on the feet. With five of her nine wins coming by way of knockout, Aldana prefers to keep the fight standing and utilize her heavy hands. Look for those heavy hands to wear down Correia, who missed weight by nearly five pounds, as Aldana wins by a late round stoppage.
5. Where Can You Watch UFC 237 & How Can You Get UFC 237 Tickets?
You can watch UFC 237 by ordering the pay-per-view here through ESPN+.
ESPN+ is the only way to watch UFC PPV events. If you don’t already have an ESPN+ subscription, you’ll be able to purchase a bundle that includes the PPV ($59.99 value) and a one-year subscription to ESPN+ ($49.99 value) for a discounted price of $79.99. If you want to order the PPV but not the one-year subscription, you can start a seven-day free trial of the ESPN+ subscription and then buy the PPV. The ESPN+ subscription is $4.99 per month after the free trial.
Tickets are still on sale for UFC 237 in Rio, meaning you still have the chance to experience just how exciting a UFC Rio event is live. Tickets are also available on StubHub and are going for a considerable premium. Ranging from $681 at the cheapest all the way up to $1,635 for some of the best seats in the house, it makes sense given that such a Brazilian star-studded card is going down in the heart of Brazil. Rio is known as an electric fighting atmosphere and with multiple legends in the building, it should be an exciting night at Jeunesse Arena.
UFC 237 airs May 11 on ESPN+. Order it here.