UFC 300’s Jessica Andrade: “Where I Hit, Hair Don’t Grow No More”

Las Vegas, NV — Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade is back in action against a fresh opponent in Marina Rodriguez at UFC 300.

She’s also coming back from significant personal hardships that have motivated her to rekindle her faith, including divorce. That’s something Andrade addressed during Wednesday’s UFC 300 media day.

“I do believe that the hardships and the challenges we have in life, they help us become better, they help us improve. And these are things that are hurdles we need to overcome to become a better person.”

“With the divorce, I think there’s more to come. Let’s just say, if you haven’t heard the full thing yet, when you hear about my life in full, you’re going to be like ‘how did you go through this, and how did you have such an amazing fight?’ Which I hope to have on Saturday,” Andrade (25-12) told media outlets including Cageside Press. “When you hear that there’s a lot into it— I think all those things, they help me just show the real Jessica Andrade, not just the ‘Pile Driver’ you guys know. The real one, in and outside the octagon, and a better person.”

Andrade, meanwhile, is quite familiar with opponent Marina Rodriguez. “We’ve trained, we’ve sparred, she’s come to Rio so I’ve had an opportunity to see her.” The pair have also shared the same management agency. There’s “a lot of strategy that goes into these fights,” Andrade added, “but I like to say that, the strategy goes only so far as the first punch. Once the first punch connects, strategy goes out the door.”

That has Andrade thinking that Rodriguez will expect a takedown, perhaps believing her opponent will shy away from her sharp standup skills. “I know how well she is in the striking, but I’ve improved my striking a lot, and I think that when my first punch connects, I think that she’s probably going to think that it’s a good idea to go down on the ground. Because I like to say, where I hit, hair don’t grow no more.”

Andrade also addressed the possibility of joining the UFC Hall of Fame some day.

“Don’t make me cry, man,” she joked, telling Cageside Press that “I was fighting in different [divisions] because I wanted to be a fighter, and going back, even Dana said, no women would ever fight and people didn’t think of it. And I was able to do that, completely groundbreaking in that sense. To be the first Brazilian [woman] to step in the octagon, and all the records, most fights, most knockouts, most finishes. When you look at the body of work, it’s very rewarding to be able to be considered like that. And I hope I have this chance, I would love to have the chance to go into the Hall of Fame.”

That’s whether she’s still fighting or not, because as Jessica Andrade also noted, “I got still five, six years on me.”

Watch the full UFC 300 media day appearance by Jessica Andrade above.