UFC 237 will be the first time strawweight champion Rose Namajunas will be fighting professionally outside of the United States. “Thug Rose” is set for her second title defense this weekend against Jessica Andrade, which takes place in the latter’s home country of Brazil.
Fighting in another country has apparently been a bit unsettling for Namajunas, who opened up about her apprehensions during Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.
“This time is different from any other time, obviously. This time it’s pretty scary, I must say,” she said (via MMA Fighting). “It’s kind of, I feel like I’m in uncharted territory even though I have a lot of experience. There’s a lot of things that I do know but there’s definitely a lot of unknowns going into this one.
“I’ve spent not just the last year fighting the same girl, Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), but then years prior to that, even after having other opponents, I still was thinking about her. So this is the first time where I’m not thinking about her.
“I’m thinking about somebody else, thinking about Andrade, and at the end of the day it’s always just a fight against myself, so just remembering that has been a challenge, but it’s something that I’m going to overcome,” she added.
Namajunas recognizes what Andrade can bring to the table, but she is trusting on her capabilities more.
“I’m more dynamic, I think I can do it all, whereas she’s a short fighter, she has to close the distance,” she said of her challenger. “There’s certain things that she has to do in this fight, and for me, I have a lot of options. I don’t have to do one particular thing.
“So yeah, I’m just more dynamic, and I guess the only requirements [for me to win] are just being myself.”
UFC 237 will take place on Saturday, May 11th in Rio de Janeiro.