Jessica Andrade put in a career-defining performance at UFC 228 on Saturday, scoring a brutal first-round knockout over Karolina Kowalkiewicz to become the first woman to ever finish the Polish fighter with strikes.
Andrade was vocal about her quest for a title shot against incumbent champion Rose Namajunas, and made that case emphatically as she takes her place as the No. 1 strawweight contender inan ever-growing division.
The Brazilian striker broke down her performance at the post-fight press conference following her dominant knockout victory, and gave her thoughts on a potential showdown with strawweight champion Rose Namajunas as well.
“We wanted to make a statement in this fight. We knew standing with Karolina was important, so she [Jessica] had private muay Thai classes every day. We were looking for the knockout, it came quicker than expected but it came so all the hard work paid off.
“I noticed I got her a little bit wobbly early into the first round, I just looked for the perfect strike with perfect timing and it ended up [happening].”
Andrade believes her aggressive style could cause problems for Namajunas. Ideally, she’d like to face “Thug Rose” at UFC 232 on Dec. 29.
“Rose is very versatile, but so am I. Push come to shove, I know technique-wise I’m better than her,” Andrade said. “Sometimes you gotta just rough it up, and no one roughs it up better than me. You saw what happened when I have a full three month camp. If we can do it in December, you’ll see a new UFC strawweight champion.”
Namajunas is coming off of a second win over former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk in their rematch at UFC 223 in April.
The fight between Andrade and Kowalkiewicz was largely viewed as a title eliminator, so a championship bout between the Brazilian strawweight and the divisional champion could very well be next for Namajunas upon her Octagon return.