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Jessica Andrade hopes to challenge her friend Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title after UFC 203

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Jessica Andrade impressed in her strawweight debut, and hopes to be one win away from fighting for the UFC title.

Andrade went 4-3 as a bantamweight inside the Octagon, and decided to try cutting down to 115 pounds following a loss to Raquel Pennington last September. Nine months later, the Brazilian striker stopped former title contender Jessica Penne in devastating fashion in California, quickly earning a spot in the division’s top 10.

The Parana Vale Tudo fighter decided to live full time in the gym in order to get closer to her dream, moving to Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. On Saturday night, Andrade faces Joanne Calderwood in the pay-per-view portion of UFC 203, and finally feels at her best.

“My speed and cardio have increased a lot, and my power continues the same,” Andrade told MMA Fighting of fighting at 115 pounds. “It has been a great move for me. Now I can control my weight easier. I wasn’t the type of person to gain much weight after a fight, but at 115 I can be bigger and more powerful than my opponents.

“It’s amazing when you enter a new division the way I did, putting on a great fight and showing that you can become a top 5 or even a champion. I already scared some people there [laughs].”

Andrade spent her first three years in the UFC competing as a bantamweight, but doesn’t feel that those days were a waste of time.

“Everything happened at the right time,” she said. “I needed this time at 135 to gain confidence and experience. I was able to do nice things at 135, and came to 115 at the perfect time. It had to be now. My biggest fear was not being able to make the weight, but there was no secret. ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting