UFC Fight Night 157 is here, and along with it, the UFC fighters have made their way to Shenzhen for what has turned out to be a stunning card.
In the main event of the card, fresh off her incredible victory against Rose Namajunas, UFC Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade will be facing Zhang Weili. Her opponent has proven herself to be a force, and this is the first time that Jessica Andrade will be fighting since winning her title.
Before her fight, I had the chance to catch up with her and ask her a few questions.
Catch all the action from UFC Shenzhen live exclusively on Ten 2 and Ten 2 HD at 3:30 PM on the 31st of August.
When I asked her about her current winning streak, Jessica Andrade said that her focus was on working to retain her title and keep winning.
JA: "I am the Champion now, and I am trying to retain the title. I'm working very hard to keep the streak going. I don't remember the last time that I had a four-fight win streak. I am just working very hard, being very disciplined to keep the belt with me."
I talked to her about her last fight which was against Rose Namajunas.
JA: "I trained a lot for that fight. I trained a lot of different takedowns and that slam was one of them. Even back in the locker room, I was practicing a few things. I spoke to my coach and he said it's okay if you lose the first round, we're just trying to figure somethings out. Keep doing your job. We're going to wear her down and things are going to move after the first round. It clearly did not come to that. I got the slam, she held on to something she shouldn't have and we ended up getting the KO, so nothing to complain there."
She talked about the incredible slam that saw her defeat
JA: "That kind of slam is something I do very often. I did it with Joanna, I did it with Claudia, I did it with Tecia! This time around Rose tried to block it with the trap. Once I figured that out, after the first time it didn't work and we were blocked, the second time around I just put my head out of it, and tried to slam again. Because she held on to it, the result was that. If she didn't hold on to it, she would have fallen on her back as the other girls did."
Jessica Andrade feels that her coach is the one who deserves her Championship and should receive the praise for all her accolades.
JA: "My coach Parana taught me everything that I know. He had confidence in me when I had no confidence in myself. He believed in me, when I did not believe in myself. He did so many things for me, like taking me to his house, he also made sure that I would be able to train and meet my professional career goals. So, if I know how to slam, if I know how to charge, it's because of him. In the end, it's because of his work that I am here. So he deserves all the props, for this win, and for all that I have done in my career."
I asked Jessica about her training before the fight and how ready she was,
JA: "I am used to fighting abroad, so that part of it is not a big problem. I fought in Japan not long ago and it's a similar case to fighting in China. So, it's business as usual, making sure everything goes well in fight week."
Finally, UFC Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade had a message to send young fighters looking to make their way in the business.
JA: "I know how hard it is to be a professional fighter and even more so to be successful at it. In the end, you have to belive in yourself, you gotta believe in your team, you got to put faith in good people, people who know the business. Just believe in them, like I did. I believed in them and my coach Parana, and he believed in me. I put my career in his hands and everything went by. I had some bumps along the way, but luckily I was able to get back up and attain the goals that I did."