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Jessica Andrade of Brazil celebrates her win over Cynthia Calvillo in their flyweight fight during the UFC 266 event on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jéssica Andrade Is Here To Feast On Contenders

Former Strawweight Champion Jéssica Andrade Hopes Another Win Over An Exciting Contender Gets Her Within Shouting Distance Of A Title Shot

Jéssica Andrade was at her mother’s house relaxing and plotting the food she’d like to eat before starting her next training camp when she got the phone call. 

Instead of waiting a few more months for a fight, how about a week?

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs Blanchfield

A day later, Andrade had her bags packed for Las Vegas,  where she is set to fight Erin Blanchfield in a main event bout, replacing Taila Santos. The matchup comes less than a month since Andrade’s beatdown of Lauren Murphy at UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill, perhaps one of the former strawweight champ’s best performances. 

Jessica Andrade celebrates her victory at UFC Fight Night: Lemos vs Andrade on April 23, 2022 (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jessica Andrade celebrates her victory at UFC Fight Night: Lemos vs Andrade on April 23, 2022 (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The victory was her third in a row and first win via decision since 2018. Murphy, who is notoriously a tough out, wasn’t ever really competitive in the fight but she hung in there until the end.. The result was yet another example of why the 31-year-old is considered a dangerous title contender at both strawweight and flyweight, and it created even more momentum for Andrade to challenge either division’s champion. That makes the decision to step into this matchup against the young and surging Blanchfield a little confounding when you consider the risk-reward for Andrade. However, that concern is easily explained: Andrade just wants to fight, and she saw a tantalizing opportunity for herself. It didn’t matter how many days she had to make weight – she knows she can hit the scale Friday with confidence.

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“I wasn’t worried,” Andrade told “The camp for my last fight can be used for this one. She isn’t very different from what I was expecting. She has good jiu-jitsu. She has a ground game and some striking, so that’s what we always expect in the UFC. But I was like, ‘Ok, I just have to wait a bit longer to be able to eat.’”

Although Andrade’s confidence is well-earned for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, her recent run of form, she does see where the 23-year-old New Jersey product may present some threats.

Jéssica Andrade | Top Finishes
Jéssica Andrade | Top Finishes

Blanchfield is perfect through her first four UFC bouts, including two submissions in her last two fights over JJ Aldrich and Molly McCann. “Cold Blooded” is touted as one of the most exciting flyweight prospects to come through in the last couple years and is believed to have championship potential. Andrade, however, is by far the stiffest test of her young career.

“We know that Erin is good on the ground,” Andrade said. “She can strike, but she’s not very fast and her shots aren’t very powerful. so I just have to be careful when she tries to shoot and not to stay on the ground, so the game plan for this fight is to keep it on the feet, defend the takedowns and if I have the chance, I can take her down, but on the feet we know that things are different with me.”

The only difficult part of her current situation is getting over a little bit of jet lag. Fighters, they’re just like us! 

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Ultimately, though, she is more than happy to be back in her adopted home of Las Vegas to compete in her third UFC main event.

“I’ve already adapted well to the time here,” Andrade said. I'm feeling really good, weight is great. I really feel like home, and everything is great. I just have to go there and do a good job.”

With a win, Andrade believes she will be within her right to call for a title shot at either strawweight or flyweight even though three of her last four wins will have come at 125 pounds. 

Bonus Résumé | Jessica Andrade
Bonus Résumé | Jessica Andrade

Because she has already competed against and lost to both of the current champs, Andrade is hoping to build an undeniable case for a chance to recapture UFC gold.

“I think a lot of things can happen,” she said. “My main focus is to put on a good fight. Depending on the win I have, it could get me closer to a title shot at strawweight as well.”

More than anything, Andrade is happy to already have a second fight lined up in 2023. She was a little disappointed to have only competed once in 2022 and thrice in the last two years, so getting her second fight of the year under her belt in February is ideal. 

Despite her nearly flawless performance against Murphy, Andrade was disappointed to not get her sixth consecutive victory via finish. It’s just not the “Bate Estaca” way to leave it in the hands of the judges. What is the way? Preferably a knockout, according to Andrade, but she’ll accept a submission win as well, and afterward, crucially, eating to her heart’s desire. 

“I'm very happy to be able to have this second fight (of the year),” she said. “I’m ready to eat anything I want after the fight on Saturday.”

UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs Blanchfield took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 18, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass