Jessica Andrade appeared to be trailing in her fight with Rose Namajunas on Saturday at UFC 237 ... and then "the slam" happened. Andrade picked Namajunas up and threw her to the mat, with her head hitting the canvas first. The move forced referee Marc Goddard to immediately step in and call the bout in the second round.
After the loss, Namajunas questioned how much longer she wants to fight.
"Going into this one, I was like, 'This might be the last time I ever do this,'" she told ESPN's Phil Murphy. "But we'll see. We'll take it one day at a time."
If she chooses to return, Namajunas could be in line for an immediate rematch. Should she get it? ESPN's MMA contributors answered that and four other questions after Saturday's card in Brazil.
Is Namajunas deserving of an immediate rematch?
Brett Okamoto: No. This was only her second title defense, and there was no controversy in the finish. Yes, Namajunas fought very well and was definitely winning at the time Andrade scored the fight-ending slam, but winning seven minutes of a fight before getting knocked out doesn't warrant an immediate rematch. The UFC 238 strawweight bout between Tatiana Suarez and Nina Ansaroff on June 8 looks like a No. 1 contender bout to me.
Ariel Helwani: I might be living in the moment here, but yes, I feel like she deserves it. That was the best Namajunas we have ever seen prior to the crazy knockout. She looked fast, crisp, on point and focused. My heart breaks for her a little bit because she was cruising for the first round and change. But does she even want a rematch? That remains to be seen. Her comment after the fight about feeling like pressure was off makes me think she's OK with not being the champion ... for now. That could change next week. And of course, there are Tatiana Suarez, Nina Ansaroff and Michelle Waterson, who deserve to be considered as well.
Marc Raimondi: No. Namajunas was winning that fight until the slam knockout, and she was fairly dominant too. But there was nothing fluky or illegitimate about Andrade's title win. Andrade's nickname, "Bate Estaca," translates in English to "Piledriver." She did exactly what her nickname says, essentially.
No one should be surprised. The UFC women's strawweight division is too deep right now to do an immediate rematch, which is not to say Namajunas can't earn another shot with one win. Tatiana Suarez should probably be next if she beats Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238 next month. Michelle Waterson and, yes, even Joanna Jedrzejczyk are waiting in the wings.
Jeff Wagenheim: Namajunas never looked better than she did Saturday night, lighting up Andrade with jabs, counter-punches from all angles and smooth footwork. She turned the challenger's face into a crimson mess, controlling all but about three seconds -- the last three -- of the fight's 7:58. So yeah, I'd love to see her tussle again with Andrade. But not right away. Maybe it's rematch fatigue, or maybe I just want a champ to have more than one title defense under his or her belt before getting an immediate shot to regain said belt. If Tyron Woodley and his four title defenses didn't warrant a rematch and Stipe Miocic, with the most defenses in heavyweight history, had to wait out a Brock Lesnar retirement to get his, then no, Namajunas ought not get Andrade right away.
Are you more surprised by Aldo's performance or impressed by Volkanovski's?
Okamoto: Surprised by Aldo. This is a tough one for me to answer because I don't want to take anything from Volkanovski. He fought a terrific fight, and he deserves to be the division's No. 1 contender for it. But Aldo looked very flat -- not himself. He battled a knee infection earlier this year, which affected his preparations and (probably) the fight itself. But even knowing that, it was surreal watching Aldo kind of coast, go through the motions, in a three-round fight in his hometown.
Helwani: The latter. I was thoroughly impressed by what Volkanovski did Saturday. Not only did he walk into a very hostile environment, but he also systematically broke down and neutralized Aldo, one of the greatest fighters of all time. That fight wasn't in doubt by the time it was over. It was a great win for the Aussie. If his next fight isn't for the featherweight title, it would be a total sham.
Raimondi: Aldo didn't look nearly as dynamic and explosive as he did in previous wins over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. But the credit for that goes to Volkanovski, not to this being a lesser version of Aldo. Look at how the former longtime featherweight champion came into this fight: He looked absolutely shredded and fully prepared. Volkanovski might not have a huge name yet, but he is the real deal. The man is on a 17-fight winning streak after all. Aldo is his signature win to this point, but "The Great" has been elite for a bit now. This was his spot to prove it.
Wagenheim: Fighters can get old in one night, right before our eyes inside the cage or ring, and it was looking that way for Aldo. But it was Volkanovski's doing, not Jose's undoing. The Aussie fearlessly yet patiently led the dance from start to finish, his perpetual offense serving as the best defense. Aldo never got out of first gear, and -- this is important -- neither did the Rio fans. Volkanovski didn't need to prove himself, really, coming in with a 19-1 record, but he simultaneously quieted a crowd that was aching to get rowdy and signaled that he's ready to make noise in the featherweight division. When you've prevented Aldo from racing out of the cage to celebrate in triumph with his home fans, that's a signature win.
Was it a legitimate win for Cannonier or just a Silva injury?
Okamoto: Legitimate win, 100 percent. It's an unfortunate injury for Silva, of course -- and after the fight, he said he went into the contest with a preexisting injury -- but that shouldn't take anything away from Cannonier's victory. Look, Silva is 44 years old, and he's a far cry from the fighter he used to be, but he's still dangerous, and flying down to Brazil to meet him is a legitimate challenge. The injury was caused by a heavy inside kick from Cannonier, and it wasn't the first one he landed. He was clearly winning that fight before the injury occurred, and he gets full credit for it in my book.
Helwani: Of course it was a legitimate win. Cannonier attacked Silva's leg and knee and eventually caused enough damage that the knee gave out. He had a great game plan and executed it perfectly. I don't understand why a KO to the head is fine, but a finish like this feels incomplete to some. It's not like Silva twisted his knee while moving and injured himself. This was all Cannonier's doing, and he deserves all the credit for the win.
Raimondi: Completely legitimate, and that's why it was so disappointing how the crowd reacted to Cannonier. Sure, it was Silva's first time fighting in Brazil since 2012, and the Rio fans wanted to get as much from the legend as they could. But Cannonier did nothing wrong. In fact, he did exactly what he was supposed to do, landing over and over to a leg that was apparently damaged going into the bout. Cannonier deserves nothing but credit. And if Silva came into the fight with an injury, that might be unfortunate, but it's one of the costs of this crazy sport.
Wagenheim: There was a little déjà vu in watching Silva collapse to the canvas in agony in a fight he was not winning. Now, Cannonier was not taking "The Spider" apart quite like Chris Weidman was back in 2013, when their rematch ended with Silva grotesquely breaking his leg on a leg kick. But "The Killa Gorilla" was beating Silva to the punch -- and kick -- the whole way, and his victory ought not be diminished. Let's call it what it was: an efficient victory over a one-time legend who no longer has the Matrix magic that made him famous. Cannonier simply did what a fighter aspiring to be in the top 10 needs to do.
BJ Penn's seven straight losses are a UFC record. How much has his lack of success in recent years hurt his in-cage legacy?
Okamoto: I don't think it hurts it at all. I mean, Penn's decision to stick around much longer than I think many of us want him to is certainly part of his legacy, but to suggest it somehow takes away from the great things he accomplished doesn't make any sense to me. The same thing that made Penn great is the same thing that's keeping him in the game too long: It's all he knows. It's the only thing he wants to do. I badly wish he'd stop fighting. But if he doesn't, I can tell you it won't affect his overall legacy for me.
Helwani: A lot. Penn hasn't won in nine years. That's half of his 18-year career. He's winless in his past eight. He now holds the record for most consecutive losses in UFC history. How is this not a massive blow to his legacy? A legacy can't be defined by one chapter in an athlete's career; it has to be the totality of the run. At one point, I believed Penn was the best pound-for-pound on the planet. These losses obviously don't change that, but you can't tell the story of Penn and ignore this final chapter. It has been way too glaring.
Raimondi: Nothing can take away everything Penn has accomplished. No one is going to his home in Hawaii and repossessing his UFC lightweight and welterweight titles. Those accolades will always be his. But it's hard to believe that in five or 10 years, when we look back on Penn's career, this late, awful stretch won't be brought up. A career is the full body of work after all. As good as Penn's prime was -- as good as anyone has ever been -- these past few years have been extremely painful to watch. "The Prodigy" has not won since 2010.
Wagenheim: When someone mentions Willie Mays, the image that always springs to mind is of him robbing Vic Wertz with an over-the-shoulder magic trick in center field at the Polo Grounds in the 1954 World Series. The black-and-white TV clip of baseball's greatest catch is eternal, while the 42-year-old Mays laboring sadly in the Mets outfield in the early '70s is just a faded memory of a faded star. It'll be the same thing with Penn. His 11-second wreckage of Caol Uno and his stunning choke-out of Matt Hughes from years ago will always be what I dwell upon. For me, BJ Penn is a notable figure from the past who unfortunately does not know it yet.
What was the best under-the-radar moment of the night?
Okamoto: That would be Viviane Araujo's knockout victory over Talita Bernardo in the very first bout of the evening. Araujo is a strawweight who agreed to fight at bantamweight (20 pounds heavier) on four days' notice because Bernardo's original opponent fell through. Araujo will go back down to 115 pounds for her next bout. She kind of had nothing to lose in this fight. It was a way for her to get a foot in the UFC door, but what a victory it turned out to be to propel her UFC career forward.
Helwani: I'll go with Viviane Arajuo, who accepted her UFC debut fight around four days ago and typically fights at strawweight, viciously knocking out bantamweight Talita Bernardo in the first fight of the night. That was something. Maybe weight-cutting is really overrated? Of course, you can include the entire entertaining Bellator card, which flew under the radar because it went head-to-head with UFC, but that's a whole other can of worms.
Raimondi: It happened deep on the early UFC 237 prelims, but Raoni Barcelos showed again in the infant stages of his UFC career that he has a promising future. As soon as he was able to get Carlos Huachin on the ground -- via knockdown with his hands, mind you -- Barcelos completely took over with dominant grappling. He finished with ground and pound at 4:49 of the second round. The Brazilian has won seven in a row and has three stoppage victories in three UFC fights. Keep his name in mind for the future, even though he is already 34 years old.
Wagenheim: While Laureano Staropoli and Thiago Alves were going at it inside the Octagon, I found myself distracted from the UFC telecast by what was streaming on my phone on mute: Michael "Venom" Page getting his first true test inside the Bellator cage. I love these crossroad moments, when fighters built for stardom finally have to prove that the buzz isn't just static. Once upon a time, it was Conor McGregor, and he passed his test. MVP did not, exactly, as he suffered his first career loss, one-punch-KO'd by Douglas Lima. But as with what happened to Namajunas in the UFC main event, Page looked impressive until he looked unconscious. He can continue to build.