Jessica Andrade became the first woman in UFC history to win a bout in three different weight classes with her first-round stoppage of Katyln Chookagian in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.
By dispatching the most recent flyweight challenger in impressive fashion in the UFC Fight Night 180 co-main event, Andrade immediately emerged as an interesting foil for reigning 125-pound queen Valentina Shevchenko. The former strawweight champion is confident she could give “Bullet” a challenge if they fought.
“I think I can put up a fight against Valentina,” Andrade said through a translator at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “It’s something that should have happened already in other organizations so I think I’m gonna make a difference in this and put on shows in this division.”
Shevchenko is scheduled to make her next title defense against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 on Nov. 21. Thus far, the champion has been dominant in title defenses against Chookagian, Liz Carmouche and Jessica Eye after capturing the crown with a win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December 2018.
Andrade will be ready to step in as a replacement in the UFC 255 title bout if need be, and also appears to be open to taking fights in other weight classes if the opportunity arises.
“For sure, I’m gonna stay ready,” Andrade said. “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 and I just felt really good tonight.”
Andrade has some history with Maia, as she fell to the current No. 1 contender via unanimous decision at Samurai FC 9 in 2012. Regardless of what the future holds, Andrade sees herself as a welcome addition to what has been a shallow division in the UFC.
“We’ll fight wherever, Andrade said. “Maybe with this fight, Jennifer Maia and Valentina, the UFC’s gonna want to have me have another fight. But I’m the person to do the movement in this division. It’s exactly what this division needs, it needs to be stirred around a little bit.”
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