Jessica Andrade discusses who she thinks will be her first challenger

At UFC 237, Jessica Andrade slammed her way into the MMA history books when she defeated Rose Namajunas by second-round TKO in her native country of Brazil.

By doing so, Andrade has become only the second current Brazilian champion in the promotion behind the dual-division bantamweight and featherweight queen, Amanda Nunes. She is also now the fourth fighter to hold the UFC strawweight title.

As champions do, they defend their titles and with such a deep division like the UFC’s 115-pound weight class, there are plenty of great threats awaiting ‘Bate Estaca.’

But who exactly is the newly crowned champion expecting to get next? She shared her thoughts on Monday.

“The person that I would really like to fight again would definitely be Rose,” Andrade shared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Because she did a very nice act of kindness to me by going to Rio to defend her belt. She had no obligation to do that. And if she ever wants to fight again for the belt, I know she’s figuring some stuff out but if she wants to do it I’ll be happy to go to Denver and defend in her hometown the same way she did to me.

“If Rose doesn’t want to do it, probably the winner of Nina [Ansaroff] and Tatiana [Suarez] would be the most worthy of the next title fight. But in the UFC you never know so I’m just training and getting ready because I know that there’s a lot of tough girls coming up very soon.”

For the aforementioned tandem of Tatiana Suarez and Nina Ansaroff, they’ll be squaring off on June 8 at UFC 238 in Chicago, Illinois. As both are top three contenders in the division, the winner definitely seems like the most logical next option for the title shot.

However, there is still another possibility and that’s the former dominant ruler of the division in Joanna Jedrzejczyk who actually is the only woman at strawweight to have ever defeated Andrade in her eight fights in the division. The loss came in Andrade’s first career title shot at UFC 211 in May 2017.

“As much as I would like to have the rematch [with Jedrzejczyk], I don’t think it would be fair at this moment,” the champion explained. “Because she is 1-2 at strawweight since we last fought and there are so many girls putting in so much work and getting up the ranks that I don’t think it would be fair for her to just bypass everybody. But you know how the UFC is. Eventually, it’s gonna happen so I just hope that the girls that have been working on the division and climbing up the ranks get their chance before she does.”

For Jedrzejczyk, her last fight came in December 2018 when she made her return to the 125-pound flyweight division in hopes of capturing gold thereby beating Valentina Shevchenko. Unfortunately for the former champion, it wasn’t meant to be as Shevchenko took home the unanimous decision nod as well as the gold strap. Jedrzejczyk has since made it clear that she’ll be returning to strawweight.

As for the newly crowned Jessica Andrade, whoever she faces next, she’ll hope to do so around September or October.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/20/2019