Jessica Andrade shocked the mixed martial arts world at UFC 237 when she knocked out Rose Namajunas with an emphatic slam to capture the promotions strawweight crown.
While many fans and analysts predicted that Andrade’s raw power would be enough to dethrone Namajunas, few people saw the fight ending the way it did.
After a dominant opening round from ‘Thug’, it appeared that Rose was cruising towards a lopsided victory over her Brazilian opponent. That was until Andrade lifted Namajunas into the air and then tossed her on her head in round two. The impact from the slam caused Namajunas to lose consciousness and thus a new strawweight queen was crowned.
With the biggest win of her mixed martial arts career now behind her, Jessica Andrade has a few solid options for her first career attempt at a title defense.
Despite the clamor for a rematch with former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who handed the Brazilian her most recent loss at UFC 211, Jessica Andrade is willing to pass on the opportunity to even the score, at least for now.
“Everybody expects me to fight Joanna, but she has to work and try to get another opportunity to fight for the belt,” Andrade told MMAFighting. “When I fought her and lost, I had to get back in there and win three fights against the three high-ranked fighters to earn another chance.”
Jessica Andrade (20-6 MMA) has gone 4-0 over her last four octagon appearances, which includes two highlight reel knockouts.
Meanwhile, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3 MMA) has gone 1-3 over her past four fights, suffering losses to Rose Namajunas (x2) and most recently Valentina Shevchenko in that time.
In order for Andrade to entertain the idea of a rematch with the Polish star, Joanna must first string together some wins.
“For her to fight me, she has to do the same,” Jessica Andrade said. “She has to get some wins, fight the higher-ranked girls, and then, if she wins, she’ll have the chance to fight me. I do believe that the next in line will be the winner of Nina vs. Tatiana or Michelle Waterson. I’ll wait. When the UFC calls me, I’ll be ready.”
Who do you think should be the next woman to challenge reigning UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!