UFC 261’s Jessica Andrade: Other Opponents Afraid of Shevchenko

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Jessica Andrade, UFC 261 press conference
Jessica Andrade at the UFC 261 pre-fight press conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Jessica Andrade, in her third weight class inside the confines of the UFC, is looking to claim her second world championship at UFC 261.

The former UFC strawweight champion, who previously competed as a bantamweight, arrived at flyweight last year. She instantly shook up the weight class with a violent TKO of ex-title challenger Katlyn Chookagian. Now, she’s up against a dominant champion in Valentina Shevchenko.

Frankly, Shevchenko vs. Andrade feels like an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object. And while perhaps overshadowed by the other two title fights on the card (Usman vs. Masvidal 2, and Zhang vs. Namajunas), there’s a feeling that Shevchenko vs. Andrade could very well steal the show.

“This Saturday I’m going to do my best,” Brazil’s Andrade stated at this week’s UFC 261 media day. “It’s a big chance for me to put a big stamp on my legacy. And not just for me, for my whole team and for everybody that’s been working with me for so long.”

Through four title defenses, and all of her flyweight fights, no one has been able to figure out champ Valentina Shevchenko. Asked about the dominant champ, “Bate Estaca” suggested that “a lot of opponents get in there with Valentina and they are already respecting her way too much. They might be afraid of her because of her history and everything she’s done.”

In how own case, said Andrade, “as much respect that I have for her outside, once the door closes, there will be no respect for her. I’m going to be in her face the entire time, and you can expect five rounds of pressure.”

“I believe in myself, I know my potential, and I believe I can make it a fight,” she finished.

UFC 261 takes place this Saturday, April 24 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The main card airs live on PPV.

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