UFC 249 has lost another matchup. This time, the originally scheduled co-main event rematch between one-time strawweight title holders, Jéssica Andrade and Rose Namajunas.
Namajunas, who last competed against Andrade in her second attempted defense of the strawweight title back at UFC 237 last May, has been forced to withdraw from the rematch clash on April 18th for undisclosed reasons. News of the matchup cancellation was initially reported by Combate writers, Evelyn Rodrigues, and Raphael Marinho.
Namajunas, 27, has yet to feature in the Octagon since her shocking slam knockout defeat to Andrade in Brazil admitted to contemplating her future in the sport off the back of that defeat. The Colorado-based all-rounder, reached the 115-pound summit back in November of 2017, bringing a crashing end to the reign of Poland’s, Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
In an immediate rematch the following April, Namajunas once more took bragging-rights – via a much closer unanimous decision showing. The Trevor Wittmann trainee was involved in the inaugural strawweight championship matchup with Carla Esparza, losing via rear-naked choke in the 2014 pairing.
Scheduled opponent, Andrade, is yet to make the Octagon walk since her UFC Fight Night Shenzhen defeat to Zhang Weili in August last year. Andrade suffered just the second loss of her strawweight excursion – coming via a knockout exchange inside the opening minute. The Paraná native originally challenged for strawweight gold against the aforementioned Jędrzejczyk three year’s prior, losing a one-sided decision.
The 28-year-old holds notable wins over former title challengers, Cláudia Gadelha, Jessica Penne, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, as well as stoppages of Joanne Calderwood, and decision triumphs over Angela Hill, and Tecia Torres.
As of writing, it is currently unknown if the promotion will seek a short-notice replacement for Namajunas in order to keep Andrade on the April 18th card – or if the bout will be rescheduled for a later date.
UFC 249 takes place on April 18th from the Tachi Palace Resort Casino in Lemoore, California, and is headlined by an interim lightweight title matchup between Tony Ferguson, and Justin Gaethje. The controversial Greg Hardy remains on the card as he meets with Yorgan de Castro. In another re-run, exciting welterweight challengers, Vicente Luque and Niko Price throw down again. At featherweight, veteran striker Jeremy Stephens clashes with Calvin Kattar.
In a rescheduled potential heavyweight title-eliminator, Francis Ngannou is paired with Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Former Strikeforce middleweight best, Jacaré Souza also features as he meets with karate practitioner, Uriah Hall. Alexander Hernandez – who was initially set to face Islam Makhachev, will now meet with Omar Morales. Marlon Vera tackles former flyweight title challenger, Ray Borg in a bantamweight tie.
Michael Johnson makes his return to lightweight also, as he takes on Khama Worthy. TUF alumni, Sijara Eubanks also makes the walk as she’s pitted with Canada’s, Sarah Moras. Opening up the event, we’ve got a light heavyweight bout between Ryan Spann, and Sam Alvey.