Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade UFC
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jessica Andrade says Valentina Shevchenko’s game plan caught her off guard at UFC 261.

In the first of three title fights on the stacked pay-per-view card, Andrade was looking to become a two division champ. After losing her strawweight title she moved up to flyweight and scored a TKO win over Katlyn Chookagian to earn the crack at the title against Shevchenko.

In the lead-up to the fight, Andrade expected Shevchenko to strike with her as the Brazilian said Shevchenko’s grappling was her weakness. However, in the fight, the champ used her wrestling and was seven-for-seven on takedowns and eventually earned a TKO win. According to Andrade, she believes Shevchenko fought like that to completely prove her wrong.

Jessica Andrade
Image Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images

“I’m very happy I did this fight, for being able to fight Valentina,” Andrade said to Combate. “She surprised me with the takedowns. We thought she was going to strike, like she did in her other fights. She wanted to fight on the fence. I think that’s because of the comments I made leading up to the fight, when I said my jiu-jitsu was better. I said that if I took her down, she wouldn’t get up, but it was the opposite. She did something I wasn’t expecting. Neither was my team. We had trained for everything, but sometimes it’s just not your day. Now it’s time to evolve, improve. I’m sure I’ll fight for the title again.”

With Jessica Andrade losing to Valentina Shevchenko, it’s uncertain what her next move will be. She could stay at flyweight and try and earn another shot at the champ. Or, perhaps she drops back down to strawweight and looks to earn the trilogy fight with Rose Namajunas given they are 1-1 against one another.

Regardless of what is next, Andrade tells fans she will be back but she says strawweight is likely as she wants to rematch Zhang Weili given they both lost.

What do you make of Jessica Andrade’s comments about the way Valentina Shevchenko fought her at UFC 261?

Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer primarily focusing on MMA. He graduated from Sheridan College with a journalism degree in 2019.