Skill proved no match for brawn after Jessica Andrade lifted Rose Namajunas off her feet then slammed her onto the cage floor to score a knockout.
Namajunas kept Andrade at bay in the first round of their strawweight world title UFC 237 main event Saturday (Sunday Manila time) with her precise punching. In the second round, however, Andrade who continually pressed forward authored a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Ignoring Namajunas sharp punches, the Brazilian pushed Namajunas against the cage and then bodily lifted her up into the air and then slammed “Thug Rose” onto the back of her head. The impact knocked the defending champion out on impact.
Seeing the limp Namajunas referee Marc Goddard leapt between the fighters and stop the fight at 2:58 of the second round.
Despite the loss Namajunas said she felt a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
After regaining consciousness, Namajunas got on the microphone, humbly thanked the Brazilian fans.
“It’s just a huge pressure off my shoulders,” she said, smiling.
Andrade pulled off the victory in front of her home crowd at UFC 237, Andrade seemed outclassed at the start of the fight. Namajunas looked comfortable picking apart her Brazilian opponent from distance as she relied on her reach advantage.
But the Andrade’s punches started to land with a little more consistency in the second round. That’s when Andrade, appropriately nicknamed “The Piledriver” picked up Namajunas, and dropped her on her head to finish the fight.
Andrade, who improved to 20-6, became the first woman in UFC history to win via a KO slam in a title fight.
In the co-main event, Anderson Silva fell to a second loss in the space of a few months. The legendary Silva badly injured his right knee after copping a leg kick in the first round. Referee Herb Dean put a stop to the bout immediately.