Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight strikers Jessica Andrade and Joanne Calderwood threw down last night (Sept. 10, 2016) at UFC 203 inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Andrade was competitive at 135 pounds, but several tough losses influenced her decision to change weight classes. Following a stellar debut, Andrade was hoping to solidify her spot as a top contender in her new division.
Meanwhile, Calderwood proved herself a top 10 Strawweight, but she never really impressed until her last bout. After destroying a former title contender, Calderwood had a real chance to jump into title contention. Instead, Andrade leapfrogged her.
Calderwood opened the bout stabbing at her foe with lots of lead leg kicks and step knees. She was landing well early, but Andrade made a nice adjustment landing a big slam takedown.
From top position, Andrade did a very nice job of keeping her posture and dropping damaging strikes. Calderwood was active from her back and tried to sweep from half guard a couple times, but the stocky Brazilian kept her weight low and pounded away. By the final minute of the round, Calderwood had eaten some heavy punches. She rushed to scramble back to her feet with about 30 seconds remaining, but Calderwood left her neck out.
Andrade jumped on it quickly and pulled guard.
Inside the full guard, Andrade’s short, muscular frame was perfect for finishing this style of guillotine. Just a few seconds later, Calderwood was forced to tap. This is a massive victory for Andrade, and she really reminded fans of her well-rounded game. At Bantamweight, her last couple losses came via submission, but it’s far more difficult to grapple with a larger opponent.
At her new, more natural weight class, Andrade is very dangerous on the mat.
Additionally, Andrade showed some smart strategy in this match up. Early on, she was clearly looking to throw hands, attacking the body often and aiming high with looping shots. However, it was clear that Calderwood was reasonably prepared for that, as Andrade was getting the worst of most exchanges.
Instead of trying to force a boxing match, she mixed it up and went for takedowns. Once in on the leg, Andrade’s tremendous physical strength allowed her to throw Calderwood around like nothing. Following this win, Andrade is pretty clearly a top five fighter. For her next opponent, a match up with former champion Carla Esparza would make a lot of sense.
Meanwhile, this is pretty much the worst case scenario for Calderwood. She looked rather sharp on her feet and was making great use of her long teep kicks, but once she was put on her back it all fell apart. To her credit, Calderwood tried to keep an active guard and did some things well. In particular, her "old school" half guard sweep chain looked solid, but she needed to try to escape out the back door rather than roll her opponent over.
It could’ve really changed the fight.
Instead, Calderwood made the mistake of forcing a scramble with a more experienced grappler. Andrade capitalized as she usually does — the Brazilian has finished five other women via guillotine — and Calderwood suffered the cost. Calderwood’s push to stand with such a short amount of time remaining also doesn’t make a ton of sense. She undoubtedly lost the first round, but she’s historically the better conditioned athlete. If the fight had moved into the second round, her chances of keeping the bout on the feet would likely be far better.
Either way, it’s back to the drawing board for the Scottish kickboxer.
Last night, Jessica Andrade submitted her opponent in the first round. Is the Strawweight bruiser a future title contender?
For complete UFC 203 "Miocic vs Overeem" results and play-by-play, click HERE!