UFC 237 takes place this Saturday from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and features top female strawweights Rose Namajunas (8-3) and Jessica Andrade (19-6) battling for the 115 lbs crown in the main event.
Other card bookings include former promotional champs Anderson Silva, B.J. Penn and José Aldo as well as rising stars the likes of Alexander Volkanovski and Jared Cannonier. The card as a whole offers that “big card” feel but also fills out with plenty of regional talent.
As the build up before the event winds down, let’s have a look at some of the movers and shakers coming into the UFC’s return to Brazil.
Biggest Underdog: Carlos Huachin Quiroz (+620)
An early 0-2-1 start to Quiroz’s MMA career has ultimately lead to a 10-1-1 resurgence earning all 10 wins by finish. The 22-year old Peruvian striker will pair up against former RFA featherweight champ and two fight UFC-vet Raoni Barcelos (13-1) in his promotional debut. A full week of line movement opened with Quiroz as a +240 mean underdog moving all the way to +620 by Friday May, 10.
Slightest Line Movement: Jessica Andrade (+1%)
Coming in at a close second is former two-weight UFC champ B.J. Penn (+454) who’s scheduled to take on fan favourite Clay Guida which opens up the card’s ESPN prelims.
“There are good and bad fights, but definitely this fight is on fire. I cannot wait."— UFC News (@UFCNews) May 9, 2019
Former strawweight champion @JoannaMMA breaks down the title fight between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade, two of her former opponents.
Order #UFC237: https://t.co/XLMnGw4FQS pic.twitter.com/Kix7z8qk1b
Former top bantamweight contender and one half of the UFC 237 main event Jessica Andrade’s line opened at a -120 and currently sits at -130. The well-rounded Brazilian owns 13/19 wins by finish including six by KO/TKO and seven by submission.
Andrade’s status, coupled with her 14-fights under the UFC promotional banner make for an interesting match-up with champ Namajunas. In her last title challenge, The Brazilian was outstruck by a total of 230-94 en route to a unanimous decision loss to then champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. In her previous outings Andrade has overwhelmed opponents with superior grappling and striking abilities earning decisions over Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres and a knockout finish over Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Closest Line: Holobaugh (+102) vs. Moises (-125)
Near pick ’em odds are featured in the night’s second to last ESPN prelim with lightweights Kurt Holobaugh (17-6, 1 NC) and Thiago Moises (11-3). Holobaugh is in his second stint with the promotion, re-joining with a win turned no-contest from season one of DWTNCS after he was found to have used an IV pre-fight. Since, the Louisiana native has been finished by Raoni Barcelos and Shane Burgos and last fought in November 2018 at UFC 230.
Moises gets the chance to fight in front of a home crowd and also joined the UFC following a win on DWTNCS this past summer. Outlanded 113-20 and out grappled (taken down four of eight times) in a losing effort to Beneil Dariush, there’s plenty of questions heading into this lower tier lightweight contest.