Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Andrade Pinpoints Possible Next Opponent With Zhang/Joanna Prediction

Former UFC strawweight champion Jéssica Andrade has pinpointed who she would like to face next after a victorious return to the division at UFC Vegas 52.

Last night at UFC Vegas 52, Jéssica Andrade made history with the first standing arm-triangle submission victory in UFC history over Amanda Lemos. This was Andrade’s first fight back at strawweight since her UFC 251 split-decision loss to current champion Rose Namajunas.

Andrade then moved up to flyweight where she was able to go 2-1, with the lone defeat coming at the hands of one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on planet Earth, Valentina Shevchenko.

UFC 261: Valentina Shevchenko warns 'don't waste your time' after beat down  of Jessica Andrade to retain flyweight title | South China Morning Post

Prior to temporarily exiting strawweight in 2020, Andrade had reached the pinnacle of the division when she defeated Namajunas for the title at UFC 237 in 2019. Now that she’s back in the strawweight win column for the first time since then, she is already setting her eyes on retrieving the championship belt.

In a perfect world according to Andrade, that would mean a crack at the winner of the upcoming fight between Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza.

However, what’s more realistic and likely, according to the former champ, is that she would have to face the winner of the upcoming rematch between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Andrade knows what it’s like to be in the Octagon with both women, as they both hold a victory over Bate Estaca.

With the Weili/Jędrzejczyk rematch being confirmed during the UFC Vegas 52 broadcast, what better time is there to lend an official prediction from a mutual opponent?

“Looking back on the past two years, I think that Weili probably has an advantage there,” Andrade’s analysis began. “We haven’t seen what Joanna has been working on and if she’s been working on anything. But Joanna has always been Joanna. What she does is what she has been doing throughout her UFC career.

“Meanwhile, we saw Weili developing, and improving, and working on different things. So on paper, if you do the math, considering what happened the first fight, I would say that Weili has a better shot at winning. And I just want to fight whoever wins that fight.”

Andrade will certainly find her place right back in the strawweight rankings after her triumphant return Saturday. Once the world learns her precise placement, it will be much easier to play matchmaker for the former champion as she straps up for some potential redemption.

Who do you predict Jéssica Andrade will fight next?

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