Following a successful 2016 campaign that saw her pick up finishes of top strawweights Jessica Penne in June and Joanne Calderwood in September, Jessica Andrade appeared to be on a crash course with division champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
When word came that Andrade would be offered a fight with Jedrzejczyk, many assumed she would jump at the opportunity, but she actually turned down the bout.
Addressing her decision to turn down a bout with Jedrzejczyk, Andrade told AgFight recently, “The UFC gave me two options. I really want to fight, but I need one more fight to make money so I can pay for a good camp to fight Joanna.
“They offered me: ‘You can fight or you can wait and go directly for the belt on April.’ But it would be complicated to fight the champion without a good camp. I gotta be ready to get a fight like that. I want one more fight before and then I can show everyone that I’m in the right weight division and that I’m capable to get a title shot.”
Prior to her victories over Penne and Calderwood, Andrade had been bouncing around the bantamweight division, a full 20 pounds heavier than where she finds herself now.
While Andrade believes she could be ready for the strawweight champion with a good camp, she also believes that Jedrzejczyk wouldn’t be available for a title shot in the early months of 2017 due to her own wear and tear.
“Joanna just fought. She is recovering herself,” said Andrade. “I guess she broke her nose. I think April would be a good date to fight for the belt if a get a fight in January. That would be great.”
Having had something of a history with Jedrzejczyk, Andrade has motivation for the bout and is determined to make the most of her opportunity when it eventually arrives.
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“When I started at this division, 115 pounds, I guess I did just one fight and (Jedrzejczyk) changed her manager and team. But our link already wasn’t going very well since she realized that I would drop weight.
“Maybe because she already trained with me and said that I’m very strong. She changed a little bit. But I didn’t like what she did. You can’t change your team, they are your family. It doesn’t matter what she says, I will be respectful. But once inside the Octagon, I guess I will try to kill her.”
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