Former champions and title contenders took part in events put on by the UFC and Bellator this past weekend in different parts of the world, but one fighter emerged as the biggest winner.
Jessica Andrade completely dominated Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117, earning a co-main event victory in Japan. Andrade event secured a 30-25 scorecard for her performance in a battle of former UFC strawweight title contenders.
The 25-year-old Brazilian was coming off a May decision defeat at the hands of champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk which stopped an impressive three-fight win streak. After suffering a submission loss to Raquel Pennington in 2015, Andrade reeled off wins over Jessica Penne, Joanne Calderwood and Angela Hill, finishing both Penne and Calderwood.
While Jedrzejczyk is currently set to defend her title against Rose Namajunas at UFC 217 in November, there is no doubt that Andrade remains on a short list of future title contenders – or possible replacements if something happens to Namajunas.
She might not have looked the best against Joanna “Champion” when they met, but one would have to believe the pressure of fighting for UFC gold got to her. Andrade became the first fighter not named Joanna Jedrzejczyk to defeat Gadelha in 18 pro bouts, a strong sign she is back on track.