Is Rose the Weakest Champion?
Featured Image Credit: Sherdog
SPOILER: She is.
This weekend, Rose Namajunas travels to Brazil to fight Brazilian contender Jessica Andrade. Andrade is the favorite as of the time of this recording, which seems to be a rarity that the challenger being the favorite. Off the top of my head, the only times I recall that that has happened has been Conor vs Eddie Alvarez, Weidman-Silva 2, and Woodley-Thompson 1. Two of those retained their belt. I am not saying that Andrade is a Conor McGregor talent, but I do think the odds are telling a true story.
For one, Rose is going to Brazil. What a ballsy move to fight someone abroad and in their home country, especially Brazil. Brazilian fans love MMA and support their fighters with great pride.
Second, Andrade is a BEAST. This is the same Andrade that beat eventual title challenger Raquel Pennington at 135. She beat women at 135 pounds despite being a natural 115er. Her skill set also may pose problems for the champion. Her grappling is next level and she would be the best grappler Rose has ever fought. Also, she is a high pressure fighter, so look for her to make Rose uncomfortable each second of this 25 minute fight.
I don’t want you to think I’m slandering Rose here. She’s incredible. I didn’t think that she would beat Joanna twice, or even Michelle Waterson once. She has revolutionized her game and it has resulted in getting a belt. But is she the least-talented champion? Probably. She is definitely the worst women’s champion, and my gauge of the strength of champions is their likeliness to win their next fight. The only champion I’m currently picking against is Robert Whittaker, but he beat Yoel Romero twice and had looked extremely good before winning the belt as well. A win this weekend definitely moves Rose out of the cellar of champions in my book, but the odds are stacked against her, literally and figuratively.