Brazil’s Jessica Andrade returns to the Octagon on Saturday night to face Raquel Pennington at UFC 171. After a loss in her debut against Liz Carmouche and a win against Rosi Sexton in the following fight, she told UFC.com that her strategy for her next challenge is trusting her grappling, though she only wishes that the fight does not go to the judges.
How was the preparation for this Saturday’s fight?
It was very smooth, with total focus on my opponent. I had two coaches exclusively for me, that’s why I believe this was the best of all my preparations in the UFC. Now, I’m cutting weight and waiting for the weigh in on Friday.
What will be your strategy against Raquel Pennington?
My coaches focused more on the grappling part. I trained a lot standing, to try the takedown and get a good ground and pound. I intend to fight standing up, and I expect a KO or a submission. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go full blast on her. I just don’t want to let the fight go to the judges.
Your debut ended up with a loss against Liz Carmouche, what did you learn in that fight?
Several things. If I had won, maybe I wouldn’t be the same Jessica that I always was. There was too much vanity around me: the first Brazilian woman on the UFC main card. I think all that went to my head. The loss was good to show who I really am, to have the will to come back and show that I am good and I can get even better.
Your first victory in the UFC was in your last fight, how did that feel?
Pretty good, I think I proved that my first fight was jumbled by my anxiety. Winning always brings happiness; you get to prove that your team’s work is being well done.
You are the next after Amanda Nunes in the rankings; do you think a fight against her is possible? Maybe in Brazil?
If I win against Raquel, I think the fight against Amanda gets closer. I don’t know if it would be in Brazil; I would rather have it in another country. Fighting at home is a lot of pressure, I think the anxiety could get in the way. But if the opportunity comes in Brazil, I will definitely work the psychological part of my game.
What is the secret to Ronda Rousey being undefeated for so long?
Everybody knows her fighting style: you can’t let her get to the clinch or the fence or get a takedown. The funny thing is, all the fighters make that mistake. She got so good at the armbar that no one can defend the move. She is good because she repeats that in her training; there’s no secret. But in her last fight she was great standing, and she is focusing on that a lot in her training.
Andrade Looks for the Finish
By Davi Correia / translation by Munique Bohnke March 13, 2014
The Brazilian will try to get the win against American Raquel Pennington this weekend.