Jessica Andrade wanted a clear path to a flyweight title shot when she decided to move up to the flyweight division, and she will receive just that at UFC on ESPN+38.
Being a former strawweight champion and a proven veteran of the promotion, Jessica Andrade anticipated a tough opponent who is high up in the flyweight rankings. Andrade was originally slated to face Jessica Eye, who is currently ranked in the top 5 of the division, but she will now face #1 contender Katlyn Chookagian in a fight that Andrade believes is commensurate with her accolades in the promotion, even if she is foraying into a new division.
“I didn’t expect anything less from the UFC due to my history, everything I’ve done,” Andrade told reporters at UFC on ESPN+ 38 media day. “It was supposed to be Jessica Eye. She had to have surgery, but I got Katlyn, which is great. I didn’t expect anything less.”
Jessica Andrade knows that with a win and if Valentina Shevchenko successfully defends her title against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255, she will almost assuredly have the opportunity to hand Shevchenko her first loss at flyweight.
“That was the plan before,” Andrade said. “I wanted to fight Valentina for the belt in her division. But now, moving up, I’m definitely working up and I think this fight puts me right there in a good spot for that argument.”
As dominant as double-champ Amanda Nunes is and despite the fact that Nunes holds two wins over Shevchenko, Jessica Andrade believes that Shevchenko has looked so impressive during her flyweight run that she is now the woman who everyone views as unbeatable and thus the greatest challenge right now for female fighters in the company.
“She’s extraordinary. She’s beyond anyone else, and I think she’s better than any girl right there, and she’s the girl to beat right now,” Andrade said. “ It used to be Ronda (Rousey), and now it’s Valentina. That’s the girl to beat in the UFC.”
How do you think a fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade would go?