Las Vegas, NV — The story is well-known by now, but at an Invicta FC event a little while back, Cynthia Calvillo and Jessica Andrade posed for a photo together.
Calvillo was actually the one who requested the photo; a short time later, she posted the snap on social media, calling out the former strawweight champ in the process. Calvillo got her wish; the pair will throw down in a flyweight fight on the UFC 266 main card this Saturday.
“She’s very respectful. We respect each other. I think it’s going to be a great fight,” Andrade said during the UFC 266 media day this week, recounting the story. “We still respect each other, but inside the octagon, it’s going to be a different story.”
A different story that may be, but Andrade knows Calvillo is a tough opponent. “Cynthia’s a great grappler. I can see she’s a great fighter,” the ex-champ said Wednesday. “I think from now on, I’m only going to fight the best in the world. There’s no easy fight. Whatever comes, I’m ready to take it.”
She’s also “ready to make a statement,” said Andrade. “This Saturday’s not going to be different. I want people to talk about me the next day, and I’m sure they will talk about me.”
Prior to the Calvillo fight being booked, there was a feeling that strawweight might be the landing point for Andrade. She was, after all, coming off a loss to flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko; back at 115lbs, her old rival Rose Namajunas once again held gold.
It was the opportunity to fight Calvillo that caused her to remain at flyweight, Andrade revealed. “Cynthia called me out, it worked out, but I’m still considering fighting at strawweight, at 115,” she said. “And even if the UFC wants me to fight at 135, I’m ready to,” she stated.
Over the years, Jessica Andrade has become well known for explosive finishes, and the Brazilian said this week that she’s always looking for the knockout.
“I know I’ve been getting better, I know I’ve been training hard. Of course it’s a pressure that every single fighter feels. Nobody wants the fight to go to the judges’ hands.”
Watch the full UFC 266 media day appearance from Jessica Andrade above. More coverage from the event can be found below.