Sunday, March 7, 2021

Jessica Andrade Ready to Fight Shevchenko or In Any Division

With one round and one stoppage victory under her belt at flyweight, Jessica Andrade is now prepared to face the biggest challenge there is at flyweight: Valentina Shevchenko.

At UFC on ESPN+ 38, Jessica Andrade defeated Katlyn Chookagian in the first round after some vicious body shots late in the first round. This was a notable feat for two reasons. Firstly, the only other person to finish Chookagian was the champion, Valentina Shevchenko. But the second achievement is held solely by Andrade. With the victory over Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica Andrade became the first woman to earn a victory in three different weight classes in UFC history: bantamweight, strawweight, and now flyweight. But as far as Jessica Andrade is concerned, she has found a new home and expects to pick up a lot more wins in her new home at 125.

“I think I can make a difference in this division,” Andrade said at the UFC on ESPN+38 post-fight press conference. “I think I can put up a fight against Valentina. It’s something that should have happened already in other organizations, so I think I’m going to make a difference and put on shows in this division.”

Jessica Andrade has recently hailed Shevchenko as the “woman to beat” in the UFC, and given how untouchable the flyweight champion has been during her title reign, it’s easy to understand where that compliment comes from. And even though Shevchenko would be the biggest challenge out there for Andrade right now, if Jennifer Maia fell out of her upcoming fight against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 255, Andrade would be prepared to step in for that fight or literally any other fight in any division for that matter. 

“For sure,” Andrade said about taking a short-notice fight. “I’m going to stay ready. 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. I just feel very good tonight.”

Do you think Jessica Andrade poses a legitimate threat to flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko?