Like many of her fellow Brazilians, former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade isn’t a big fan of facing her own peasants in the Octagon. In fact, during his 18-fight promotion career, ‘Bate Estaca’ has faced only two other Brazilian athletes: Larissa Pacheco and Claudia Gadelha.
However, Andrade is willing to make an exception for the right reward.
While we’re all waiting for the women’s flyweight title photo to be sorted at UFC 255, where Valentina Shevchenko will try her fourth title defense – against Jennifer Maia – Andrade wouldn’t turn down a belt fight against Maia, if the challenger became the new champion next Saturday.
“We don’t like to fight other Brazilians, but it’s pretty cool if there’s a belt involved.” Andrade told Ag Fight. “I am also very close to Poliana Botelho, Virna Jandiroba and Amanda Ribas. It’s like I’m always telling them, ‘If we’re going to fight, it might as well be for the belt. I don’t want to fight you in a normal fight ”. I think the UFC will have a lot of tools to work with if Jennifer wins. I might have the chance to catch up with her. If Valentina wins, I will have a chance to fight her, which I was not able to do before joining the UFC. There are a lot of opportunities for me. My time in this division will be a very cool part of my career.
As Andrade herself mentioned, fighting Maia in the UFC would also mean a chance for revenge. Before the two athletes joined the UFC, Maia actually handed Andrade his second professional loss. At the time, in December 2012, the current title challenger defeated Andrade by unanimous decision at Samurai FC 9.
Although Andrade couldn’t stop Maia at the time, she believes a lot has changed over the past eight years. If the duo met again these days, Andrade feels like it would be a very different competition from the first.
“A lot of things have changed, haven’t they? My style and his. I didn’t have a lot of experience when I fought her. I hadn’t evolved at all yet. Jennifer had already been fighting for five or six years. She was fighting in big shows and I was just getting started. I’m more aggressive now, I can get more shots at the right time now. My hands are more precise. My ground play and takedowns are much better, not to mention my stamina and ability to absorb shots. It would be so. Stay aggressive and use the cage and my grapple to tire Jennifer. It would be interesting. “
When Andrade was training to meet Rose Namajunas for the second time, she even got the chance to train with Maia. Meanwhile, Andrade has already been able to notice how far she has developed since she first faced Maia.
“We trained together before facing Rose for the second time. We went to Curitiba and had a great workout there. It was cool, we helped each other a lot. We have always been welcomed there. I was able to say how much I have evolved since the last time we fought. I noticed I had the skills to beat her in a rematch. If she wins, (against Shevchenko) I will study her last fight to take advantage of it.
On her last outing, Jessica Andrade (21-8) beat former flyweight title challenger Katlyn Chookagian via TKO in October. The victory marked the 29-year-old’s 125-pound debut and broke a two-game losing streak, with losses to Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang.