Former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade is quite familiar with both of the fighters competing in UFC 248‘s co-main event this Saturday night.
The Brazilian bulldozer captured the crown in May 2019 when she dispatched of the then champion, Rose Namajunas. Hoisting her adversary above her head in the second round only to violently let gravity do its job, Andrade got the victory with one of the most devastating slam knockouts the sport has ever seen.
Prior to that, she rode a dominant three-fight winning streak and was 6-1 in her seven fights at 115-pounds. That one loss came to the longtime queen of the division, Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk who looks to reclaim the title on Saturday.
In Andrade’s last time out, she attempted to make her first title defense when she flew to Shenzhen, China in August to face Weili Zhang. Still a relative unknown to the majority of the MMA community at the time, Zhang changed all that in her homeland.
Needing only 42 seconds, “Magnum” became the first and only strawweight to defeat Andrade by finish. It was also the quickest defeat of her experience yet still young career.
So having battled both Zhang and Jedrzejczyk for titles herself, “Bate Estaca” has a pretty good idea of how the fight could play out.
“I believe it’s all in who will be able to impose their range,” Andrade shared with MyMMANews, “I think Weili’s physicality will be the difference to win her the fight, but if Joanna is able to keep her In her distance things will be very hard for Weili.
“During my camp for China everything went fine, I trained a lot, improved a lot too. But this is a fight. I got caught and every time you go out there you are running the risk of something like that happening. So I just came back home to rest a bit because the whole year before that had been very, very busy with the fights, promotional activities, and travel.”
For Andrade, she’ll be looking to rebound in a co-main event spot of her own. At UFC 249 on April 18, she’ll rematch with the woman she defeated to become champion in Namajunas.
Stay tuned for the rest of our chat with Andrade here on MyMMANews as her fight draws closer.