Brazil’s Jessica Andrade, who stands just 5’2, began her UFC career fighting much taller women in the bantamweight division. Yet after a decent run in this division, which saw her amass a 3-2 record against solid competition, she decided to drop to the strawweight division, where she’d be at less of a physical disadvantage.
This move has paid dividends for the dangerous Brazilian. In just two fights, she has transformed from the middling competitor she was at bantamweight into a bona fide strawweight contender.
In her first fight in this new division, Andrade hammered former title challenger Jessica Penne to a second-round TKO triumph. In her next and most recent bout in the division, which occured at UFC 203 in September, she mauled top-10 staple Joanne Calderwood to a first-round guillotine-choke induced victory. With these wins in her wake, she is now banging on the door of a title shot with both hands.
Provided the division’s current number-one-contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz doesn’t pull off the upset at UFC 205 in New York City, Andrade’s potential title shot would pit her against dynamic reigning queen, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Though the undefeated Jedrzejczyk has looked nearly unstoppable in her first 6 fights with the organization, Andrade is optimistic she’d come out on top if she were to receive a title shot. And while Jedrzejczyk stands out as the best striker in the division – if not the best striker in all of women’s MMA – Andrade is confident she would win this prospective battle by knockout.
Andrade made this claim in a recent Q&A with her fans (via MMAFighting.com). Her confidence, she explained, is based on Jedrzejczyk’s recent tooth-and-nail battle with Claudia Gadelha.
“Joanna’s weak spot is Jessica Andrade,” the Brazilian said during her Q&A. “In her last fight against ‘Claudinha’, we could see that Joanna has a weak chin. The other girls are scared to trade with her. I’m not scared. I’ll go there to knock her out.”
Andrade also claimed that, while Jedrzejczyk is polished in the striking department, she lacks the power to be a real threat.
“Joanna is a great athlete, has good grappling, good striking, a lot of cardio, but her punching power is weak,” Andrade said. “I’ll do a great camp, get there well prepared. I’ll probably fight again before. I want to get well prepared to fight five rounds when the time comes.”
“I have great cardio. I haven’t showed in my last couple of fights because they ended in the first round. In the striking area, Joanna will feel my hand. The strategy is to stand with her, knock her out and bring the belt to Brazil.”
Do you think Andrade has a chance against the dominant strawweight champion? Sound off, PENN nation!