Gay UFC fighter Jessica Andrade used a spectacular — and reportedly, legal — pile driver move Saturday night, to knock reigning champion Rose Namajunas unconscious, and take home the strawweight title.
According to USA Today’s Dave Doyle, “Thug Rose” Namajunas dominated the first five minutes of the UFC 237 bout, beating Brazil’s Andrade with both speed and range. But in the second round, Andrade grabbed the American champ and held her high for what Doyle called “one of the most stunning finishes in recent memory.”
JESSICA ANDRADE #UFC237 pic.twitter.com/rsFW3ckeND— Safa ✨ (@safaaxyz) May 12, 2019
Here’s the aerial view:
JESSICA ANDRADE WINS VIA... slam? SLAM VS ROSE NAMAJUNAS #UFC237 pic.twitter.com/BnHJbTlxrH— FiveFives (@fives_five) May 12, 2019
Check it out in slow-motion.
That looked painful. #UFC237 pic.twitter.com/zRCZi0f4QS— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) May 12, 2019
After Namajunas regained consciousness, Andrade received her championship belt.
Brazil has another champion— Watch UFC 237 live on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 12, 2019
Jessica Andrade wins the UFC strawweight title! #AndNew pic.twitter.com/402vRmWanr
Twitter has been rife with questions as well as jokes about Andrade’s dramatic finish to the fight.
dominick cruz: you cant get slammed from this position jessica andrade: hold my beer— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) May 12, 2019
As our SB Nation partner bloodyelbow.com reported, former referee and Bellator commentator “Big” John McCarthy tweeted a brief explanation of why the pile driver move was completely legal.
When Rose goes for the armbar she has a choice to either let go of the armbar or try and hold onto it and go for the ride that Andrade is going to put on her. There is no illegal slam when a submission is being attempted. It does not matter how she brings her down #AskBJM https://t.co/eBgvzcdZBY— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) May 12, 2019
Bloody Elbow posted an excerpt of the 2017 Unified Rules of MMA, which indicates spiking an opponent’s head and neck to the canvas is considered a foul. However, there are exceptions, which matches what McCarthy tweeted:
It should be noted when a fighter is placed into a submission hold by their opponent, if that fighter is capable of elevating their opponent they may bring that opponent down in any fashion they desire because they are not in control of their opponent’s body.
The fighter who is attempting the submission can either adjust their position, or let go of their hold before being slammed to the canvas.
In 2017, Andrade proposed to her then-girlfriend Fernanda during an in-cage interview with Joe Rogan. This time, she told reporters she was as stunned as the crowd: “I didn’t even know what happened, to tell you the truth.”
Here’s a post-match interview Andrade gave in her native Portuguese, with subtitles in English.
"It's like I'm in a different world, and then I realized I won."— UFC News (@UFCNews) May 12, 2019
Hear from the new @UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (@JessicaMMAPro)⤵️: pic.twitter.com/DwRIeL7HYG
Andrade took home an additional $100,000 for both the Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night bonuses, as she now improves to a record of 20-6, with 14 wins by stoppage, according to Bloody Elbow.
Who’s next to fight Andrade? Michelle Waterson wants into that cage.
Michelle Waterson wants first crack at new UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade https://t.co/SdHCNPW6xD pic.twitter.com/7CseiZzLS0— Women's MMA Rankings (@WMMARankings) May 13, 2019