Former UFC strawweight best, Jéssica ‘Bate Estaca’ Andrade made her presence at a new flyweight home known on Saturday night at UFC Fight Island 6 – joining division leader, Valentina Shevchenko as the only other opposition to finish number-one contender, Katlyn Chookagian with strikes.
The aggressive former bantamweight contender seems to have found her sweet spot in the promotion after an extended period at 115-pounds where she struck promotional gold. In a hugely-aggressive display which has become a staple of her career, Andrade cannoned forward on occasion to pressure Chookagian at the fence.
In a shrewd tactical approach which she shared with UFC colour-commentator, Daniel Cormier afterwards – Andrade explained how her team had instructed her to target the body of Quakertown native, Chookagian – believing the one-time title challenger had suffered a draining weight-cut.
Finding a late first-round finish, Andrade dug deep with a massive right hook to the body, drawing a notable reaction from Chookagian who turned her back on the Brazilian before catching a flying knee to the midsection, and an eventual barrage at the fence which forced the issue.
Likely to take the number-one rank in the flyweight pile off the back of last weekend’s win, Andrade expressed her confidence of finding success against gold holder, Shevchenko – who is currently pre-occupied with Andrade’s compatriot, former Invicta FC flyweight best, Jennifer Maia in a UFC 255 co-main event in November.
“I think I can make a difference in this division,” Andrade told MMA Junkie. “I think I can put up a fight against Valentina (Shevchenko). 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.“
Testing the waters at bantamweight, strawweight, and now flyweight, Andrade also maintained she would be ready to even step-in on short-notice as high as the 145-pound featherweight limit if the UFC required so.
“For sure,” Andrade said. “I’m going to stay ready. If that happens I’ll be there if needed. In any other division – 135(-pounds), 145(-pounds) – I’ll be ready. I haven’t felt this happy and haven’t had this vigour to fight. I just feel very good tonight.“
For Kyrgyzstan standout, Shevchenko – the finisher is approaching her fourth consecutive title defence, having scored the vacant title in a clash opposite common-foe, former strawweight queen, Joanna Jȩdrzejczyk, In three subsequent title defences against Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, and the above-noted, Chookagian – Shevchenko notched rather one-sided victories.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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