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Out fighter Jessica Andrade to rematch Rose Namajunas on ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 251

The highly anticipated rematch of former UFC Strawweight champions was originally scheduled for April’s UFC 249 before its cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

2019 UFC Performance Institute Panel and UFC Fight Night Shenzhen Press Conference
Jessica Andrade
Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images

As the MMA world continues to celebrate the further crowning of out Brazilian UFC double champion Amanda Nunes as the greatest fighter ever, another prominent out Brazilian fighter is readying herself for a return to the octagon.

UFC president Dana White announced Tuesday that out former UFC Strawweight champion Jessica Andrade will face fellow former Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 251 on July 11.

The matchup will be part of UFC’s first “Fight Island” event from Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, a luxury tourist destination that doesn’t carry the same fighting-game end boss connotations White’s original touting of the idea carried.

The long-awaited rematch was originally scheduled to co-main event the reworked incarnation of UFC 249 that was canceled in April. The decision to cancel the event came after ESPN and Disney executives seemingly forced White’s hand amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrade and Namajunas’s second bout was already put on ice before the formal announcement came down after Namajunas pulled out of the fight citing the deaths of two family members from COVID-19.

July 11’s fight will be the first time that Andrade and Namajunas will stand across from one another since Andrade defeated Namajunas for the Strawweight crown with one of the most vicious and dangerous knockouts in UFC history at last May’s UFC 237.

Neither woman has fought since summer 2019. Namajunas hasn’t fought since Andrade dropped her on her head and neck while Andrade hasn’t fought since losing the Strawweight belt to Zhang Weili in August.