After TKO win, Jessica Andrade says she's what flyweight needs: 'I can put up a fight against Valentina'
ABU DHABI – Jessica Andrade views herself as a welcome addition to the UFC women’s flyweight division.
At UFC on ESPN+ 38 on Saturday, Andrade (21-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) made a statement whenshe finished former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian with a body shot late in Round 1. With the victory, Andrade made history by becoming the first UFC female fighter to win in three different weight classes.
“I feel really good,” Andrade told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “It’s one more accomplishment – one win in another division. I have to thank my master, my team, my wife – and let’s go to the next.”
A former UFC women’s strawweight champion, Andrade’s weight cut to 115 pounds has become more difficult. Moving up to 125 pounds, Andrade was thrown right in the mix against the No. 1 UFC-ranked women’s 125-pounder.
In her opinion, she passed the test with flying colors – successfully enough to perhaps warrant a title shot against the winner of UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko’s title defense against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 on Nov. 21.
“I think I can make a difference in this division,” Andrade said. “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.”
With women’s title fights booked at 125 and 145 pounds, Andrade declared her willingness to accept a short-notice fight if the UFC needs her. She’ll be ready.
“For sure,” Andrade said. “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.”
UFC on ESPN+ 38 took place Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The card streamed on ESPN+.