Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade wants to make history and move up to 145lbs to fight at featherweight.
Andrade formerly competed at 135lbs and 115lbs and this weekend at UFC Fight Island 5, she fights in a third weight class when she makes her UFC women’s flyweight debut against Katlyn Chookagian. With a win over Chookagian, Andrade could potentially be in line to fight UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko sometime in 2021.
While most fans and media figure that Andrade will ride out her UFC career at 125lbs, it turns out the Brazilian may not be done just yet. Speaking to reporters on Fight Island ahead of this Saturday’s UFC event, Andrade said that she is not necessarily stopping at three weight classes, as she conveyed interest in one day fighting at featherweight as well.
"I'll take any challenges."
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 14, 2020
“It’s one more record, it’s one more thing that I’m doing. I’m glad to be a company woman and be able to fight wherever. I want to fight at featherweight, maybe. I’ll take any challenges,” Andrade said.
Standing at only 5’1″ tall, Andrade was undersized at bantamweight when she first came to the UFC, which prompted her to move down to 115lbs. It was at strawweight where she became a UFC champion with a slam KO over Rose Namajunas in May 2019 earning her the strap. But after getting knocked out by Weili Zhang to lose her belt, Andrade suffered a split decision loss to Namajunas in the rematch which promoted a move down to flyweight.
Although Andrade is riding a two-fight losing skid into this fight against Chookagian, she still has the respect of the oddsmakers, as she currently sits as a betting favorite at the sportsbooks. The end of her strawweight run may not have gone as planned, but perhaps Andrade can now make a run at 125lbs and in the future, perhaps 145lbs, as well.
Do you think Jessica Andrade will actually follow through with this and move up to 145lbs?