Jessica Andrade is challenging UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the gold at UFC 211.
The champion once bought Andrade a pair of MMA gloves and now Andrade is using them as she trains for her upcoming title bout.
"She already gave me several gifts,” Andrade said a UFC 211 media lunch in. "She gave me a glove that I use it to train thinking that I’ll punch her [laughs]. When it's time to fight, we’re professionals. It’s our jobs and careers. Respect must always exist. It’s not because I’m fighting her that she's my enemy, that I want to kill her. She’s my opponent and I’ll do my best. I want to win, but there’s respect and friendship.”
An aspect of her gameplan that Andrade plans on executing when she faces the champion is to keep the distance between them at a minimum.
"The more space you give Joanna, the better for her,” Andrade said. "I work better when I close the distance. Whatever the Octagon or place we are, I’ll be well prepared. She can run as much as she want, but she won’t be able to run eventually, and then I’ll catch her. Watching her fight with ‘Claudinha' (Gadelha) and Karolina (Kowalkiewicz), you can see many flaws,” she continued. "If you’re versatile, and get punched in the face, but still go forward, that frustrates Joanna, she doesn’t know what to do. She won by decision, it was one of her toughest fights, but ‘Claudinha' was able to knock her down with a jab, and if I have the opportunity to get my hands ready and the right timing, I can knock her out."
UFC 211 takes place on Saturday, May 13 from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas with Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.