Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade believes she can make another run for the belt at 115lbs.
Andrade submitted Amanda Lemos via first-round standing arm-triangle choke in the main event of UFC Vegas 52, the very time the move has been used to finish a fight in UFC history. It was an incredible performance by Andrade, who moved back down to strawweight after a 2-1 run at 125lbs. Remember, it was in 2019 when Andrade won the women’s 115lbs title when she slammed Rose Namajunas and knocked her out at UFC 237 in Brazil. Although she lost the title to Weili Zhang in her first defense, she remains one of the best fighters in this weight class.
At 125lbs, Andrade lost to the champion Valentina Shevchenko but she knocked out ranked contenders Katlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo at that weight class. Still, the goal is to be a champion in this sport, and with Namajunas currently the champ at 115lbs, it made sense for Andrade to move back down in weight. Speaking to AG Fight following her win over Lemos, Andrade said that she is the “queen” of women’s 115lbs, and she’s coming back for her belt.
“With the mind I have today, with the structure I have today, this is definitely my category, without a doubt. After this victory, I managed to prove it more and more, that I am the queen of this here. Who knows, until the end of the year, I won’t fight for the belt to really consecrate myself the best of all time in the UFC? Girls, get ready, because the champion is coming back. Without a doubt, this is the biggest message I have to leave for them,” Andrade said.
Namajunas puts her belt on the line against Carla Esparza at UFC 274 next month, and Marina Rodriguez is likely next up for a title shot after that. There’s also the winner of Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk 2 that will be in the mix. But as far as Andrade goes, if she can go out there and put on spectacular performances as she did against Lemos, it could help get her back to a title shot.
“There is this possibility. I think that Weili too, if she wins, would be one of the big names to fight for the belt, but now I’m back in the division. I think that for either of them to have the chance to fight for the belt, they will either have to fight with Marina, who is also waiting in line, or they will have to fight me. It is a very busy category, which is constantly changing here and there,” Andrade said.
Do you believe that Jessica Andrade has what it takes to make another UFC title run at 115lbs?
MMA journalist, podcast host, and handicapper for MyMMANews.com, MMAoddsbreaker.com, and Bookies.com. MMAOB Daily Podcast host. Join me LIVE @ 5 pm EST Monday and Tuesday for my live free podcast. Over 10 years of experience writing about MMA. I love this sport.