Jessica Andrade took the MMA world by storm earlier this month at UFC 237 when she finished UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas via knockout to claim the 115-pound throne.
Many believed Andrade’s power and sheer ferocity would be too much for the calculated “Thug,” but few predicted the Brazilian would pick Namajunas up over her head in the second round and slam her to the canvas in one of the most violent finishes you’ll ever see (CLICK HERE FOR HIGHLIGHTS).
With the biggest victory of her career in the bag and the strawweight belt now wrapped around her waist, Andrade is gearing up for a highly-entertaining reign as champion. That reign may very well include a title rematch with former women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who defeated Andrade via decision back in 2017, but the Brazilian isn’t quite ready to offer the Polish striker an immediate shot.
“Everybody expects me to fight Joanna, but she has to work and try to get another opportunity to fight for the belt,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “When I fought her and lost, I had to get back in there and win three fights against the three high-ranked fighters to earn another chance.”
Even though a rematch between the two strikers would surely produce fireworks inside of the Octagon, Andrade may be right.
Jedrzejczyk, 31, hasn’t been quite as dominant as she was just a few years ago. In her last four Octagon appearances the confident star is just 1-3. That includes two title fight losses to Namajunas at 115 pounds and another title fight loss to Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC women’s flyweight title.
Jedrzejczyk, having lost twice to Namajunas, was going to need another few victories under her cap before a trilogy fight made sense. But with Andrade now in the driver’s seat many believe that Joanna’s road back to a title shot has been shortened. Andrade doesn’t seem to agree.
“For her to fight me, she has to do the same,” Andrade said of Jedrzejczyk. “She has to get some wins, fight the higher-ranked girls, and then, if she wins, she’ll have the chance to fight me. I do believe that the next in line will be the winner of Nina vs. Tatiana or Michelle Waterson. I’ll wait. When the UFC calls me, I’ll be ready.”
Whether or not Andrade rematches Jedrzejczyk this year or next, the champ’s reign atop the growing strawweight class is not going to be an easy one, especially with contenders like Tatiana Suarez and Michelle Waterson roaming the hallways. But given the severity of Andrade’s finish over Namajunas, those contenders should feel just as threatened as the champ.