Jessica Andrade plans on shutting down any doubters by sealing her second win against Rose Namajunas at UFC 251.
The fighters first faced off at UFC 237 when Andrade managed to score a TKO in the second round. Many felt the strawweight’s statement knockout win was a fluke. Now, the 28-year is old is ready to prove naysayers wrong for a second time.
“I don’t know if [Namajunas] thinks [it was a fluke], but I know she really wants this rematch; she wants to show she’s has gotten better and evolved, that she has what it takes to beat me,” Andrade said to MMA Fighting. “There are a lot of American fans and a lot of Brazilian fans that say it was luck, but I know it wasn’t luck. I was ready for all that. I knew what I had to do in the fight and how it would go down. If I hadn’t won that way [the win] would have come any other way, the next round, or even the next one.”
Their anticipated rematch will take place on the main card of UFC 251 on July 11 in Abu Dhabi. Jessica Andrade doesn’t know what to expect from her opponent and credits Namajunas for channelling her inner strength.
“I don’t know what goes inside Rose’s mind, but she has this strength inside of her to prove herself, to evolve after every fight. She has this desire to get better and win every time she stumbles. I believe she’s coming to prove that by fighting me.
“If it was lucky, she will be able to beat me, and if it wasn’t, I’ll win – and the mutual respect continues.”
In her last Octagon appearance, Andrade suffered a TKO loss in just 42 seconds against the current strawweight champion, Weili Zhang. Losing the belt to the Chinese standout forced “Bate Estaca” to reconsider her fight strategy for future performances.
“I’ve envisioned this fight ending in many different forms,” Andrade said. “By points, by knockout, by submission. But, in my head, a knockout would be way cooler. That’s what people love to watch, and that would give me an opportunity to win a bonus as well [laughs]. Any type of knockout. A kick, a punch… I’ve been training many things. I’m more mature, more experienced, and calmer than my last fight.”
If she can prove doubters wrong and evolve in her rematch fight against Rose Namajunas, Andrade is confident she can set herself up for a title shot bout against Zhang.
“I changed my entire strategy, changed the way I fight,” Andrade said. “I’m still aggressive and strong, but I changed the way I walk, the way I move. This will be my way of proving I’ve gotten better and I can fight Zhang Weili again.”