After becoming UFC Strawweight Champion, Jessica Andrade doesn't agree with the perception that Joanna Jedrzejczyk is her first title challenger.
Andrade first fought Jedrzejczyk at UFC 211, losing on points in May 2017. Since then though, their careers have gone in opposite directions with Andrade winning four straight while Jedrzejczyk lost her 115 pound crown. With victories over Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Andrade earned a title shot and capitalized. Now as champion, she feels Jedrzejczyk should follow the same path.
“Everybody expects me to fight Joanna, but she has to work and try to get another opportunity to fight for the belt,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “When I fought her and lost, I had to get back in there and win three fights against the three high-ranked fighters to earn another chance. For her to fight me, she has to do the same.
"She has to get some wins, fight the higher-ranked girls, and then, if she wins, she’ll have the chance to fight me. I do believe that the next in line will be the winner of Nina vs. Tatiana or Michelle Waterson. I’ll wait. When the UFC calls me, I’ll be ready.”
Regardless of who's next, Andrade's status as champion is undeniable, winning the title in quite unforgettable fashion. Andrade slammed Namajunas to the mat, rendering her unconscious and taking the gold. In the midst of the chaos though, Andrade had simply followed her instructions. “My master told me in the locker room, ‘If she tries to go for an armbar or a guillotine, slam her. Don’t give her your back. We trained that in the locker room. He told me not to worry about losing the first round, it was meant to be like that so we could see what we had to go for in the next rounds.”