UFC 249 looks set to feature the much-anticipated rematch between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade. ESPN's Ariel Helwani reported on Monday arrangements are moving toward a conclusion:
Verbal consent has been given by both fighters, according to Damon Martin and Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. If an agreement can be reached, it will mean a first meeting between these two fighters since Andrade knocked out Namajunas at UFC 237 to win the Strawweight title back in May 2019.
Namajunas hasn't fought since, but Andrade subsequently lost the title after she was beaten in just 42 seconds by Weili Zhang when the UFC traveled to Shenzhen, China back in August.
Beating Namajunas again would get Andrade back on track in the division. However, ESPN's Brett Okamoto described the intrigue created by a rematch:
Perhaps the biggest question mark headed into the renewal of hostilities involves whether or not Andrade can dispel the notion she was lucky first time around. The Brazilian was thought to have won "in somewhat lucky fashion" when she scored her knockout last year, according to Mike Bohn of USA Today Sports' MMA Junkie.
Few disputed Namajunas had been in firm control of the bout right up until the moment Andrade surprised her with a slam that ended with the 27-year-old landing on her head. Before then, Namajunas had silenced a partisan crown in Rio de Janeiro with a methodical approach based on wearing down her opponents' arm.
Making the second installment of the Namajunas and Andrade rivalry official will beef up an already impressive card. UFC 249 is also set to be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov defending the lightweight strap against Tony Ferguson.
The latter fight is slated to be part of a co-main event featuring Uriah Hall meeting Ronaldo Souza.