Jessica Andrade is set for her first title defense in the main event of UFC Shenzhen. She will be taking on Weili Zhang in the challenger’s home country of China.
For Andrade, defending her belt in hostile territory will be a new experience, but fighting in someone else’s backyard will not be.
“I’m used to fighting in hostile territory. Most of my fights I faced my opponents in their home, so I’m really calm about it. I’m used to stepping into the Octagon being booed and walk out applauded,” Andrade told BJPENN.com ahead of her title fight in Shenzhen. “Only a few times I [have] fought in Brazil and had the opportunity to have the crowd rooting for me from the start, so I’m used to it. I’m really confident.”
The champion has been preparing hard for this fight and knows Zhang will be a tough opponent to face. The Chinese strawweight is on a 19-fight winning streak and Jessica Andrade is expecting a challenge.
“She is a very tough opponent. Weili has a style similar to mine, aggressive, strong, moving forward all the time, really well rounded,” she explained. “So, she is the type of opponent that you need to be paying attention at all times.”
Although Andrade knows Zhang is a tough fight, she is confident in her skills and believes that she will win this fight. Not only that, but is hoping to finish her foe early.
“I want this fight to end fast. I want a knockout or a submission in the first or second round,” Jessica Andrade said. “But, it will all depend on how the fight starts, what she will do, what will be her strategy. I definitely want this fight to end before the 5th round.”
Andrade is hoping a win over Zhang will mark the beginning of a long chain of title defenses.
“It would mean a lot to me, to show how capable I am and that I really am the best in the world,” Andrade concluded. “Hopefully one of my many title defenses.”
Who do you think will win the fight between Jessica Andrade and Weili Zhang?
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/28/2019.