Jessica Andrade took the Flyweight division by storm when she defeated the number one ranked Katlyn Chookagian in her 125-pound debut. With that victory, Jessica Andrade became the first woman in UFC history to have victories in three different weight classes.
Given how well she fared at 115 pounds, it's surprising to think that Jessica Andrade was also a Bantamweight. However, it speaks volumes about her adaptability in different weight classes and how she's a level above most in women's MMA.
In the eyes of many fans, Jessica Andrade's entry into the UFC Women's Flyweight division marks the biggest threat to Valentina Shevchenko since she was crowned the 125-pound Champion.
Speaking to the media in the post-fight press conference, Jessica Andrade said that she is confident in her ability to take on Champion Valentina Shevchenko. (MMAFighting):
“I think I can put up a fight against Valentina,” Andrade said via a Portuguese translator at the evening’s post-fight press conference. “It’s something that should have happened already in other organizations so I think I’m gonna make a difference in this and put on shows in this division.”
When asked whether she is going to be a back-up fighter for the Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jenifer Maia fight at UFC 255 in November, the 29-year old Brazilian confirmed that not only is she ready to be a back-up, but she is also open to fighting at Bantamweight and Featherweight:
“For sure, I’m gonna stay ready,” Andrade said. “If that happens I’ll be there if needed. In any other division, 135, 145, I’ll be ready. I haven’t felt this happy and haven’t had this vigor to fight and I just felt really good tonight.”
Jessica Andrade has history with Jennifer Maia, whom she lost to in Brazil eight years ago in 2012. She mentioned that fighting her makes a lot of sense:
“I’ve lost to her before we were in the UFC, so it would be interesting to go in there,” Andrade said. “I know I’ve improved a lot, Jennifer’s improved a lot, so that’s the point. There’s a lot of things that make sense in this division. Fighting Valentina makes sense, fighting Jennifer Maia, so it’s a good addition to the division.”
Can Jessica Andrade topple Valentina Shevchenko?
It's not unfair to say that there is a big disparity in the talent level of Valentina Shevchenko and the rest of the UFC Flyweight division. Jessica Andrade presents a fresh challenge for the Champion and could be the biggest threat to her title reign in the Flyweight division.
It just goes to show how impressive Valentina Shevchenko has been. She has only lost to Liz Carmouche and Amanda Nunes. However, she did get a win back over the former last year. Will Jessica Andrade eventually meet Valentine Shevchenko for a title clash?Published 19 Oct 2020, 01:15 IST