Top strawweight contenders Tecia Torres and Jessica Andrade went to war tonight (February 24th, 2018) at UFC on FOX 28 from inside Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, live and free on big Fox. A top contender’s bout, it pit Tecia Torres, who only had one official UFC loss, a very close decision to champion Rose Namajunas, against force of nature Jessica Andrade, who had only been beaten at strawweight by Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Although Torres never lost her willingness to fight, she simply couldn’t do enough to stop the power wrestling of Jessica Andrade down the stretch.
Torres came out looking for straight punches, and immediately caught Andrade with a big shot, then clipped her again as Andrade rushed in. Torres landed a jab, then a right hand. Andrade moved forward, but whiffed on her hooks. Torres was moving well, and landed two more right hands. Andrade moved forward looking for her signature hooks. She landed another hard combination, and Andrade leapt forward in response, finally landing a couple of her own in return. Torres was really tagging her, but Andrade didn’t seem bothered by any of this, and landed a couple of her own overhands in return. Simply by moving forward, presenting a good target, she was forcing the fight to move at a high pace. Torres landed a couple hooks, but ate a couple and Andrade clinched her and pushed her to the cage. Andrade ran forward again, and landing some clubbing hooks in the exchange. They traded punches, in and out of the clinch. What a frenetic pace. Andrade has always been able to keep up this crazy pace; Torres’ conditioning will be tested. As the ten-second clapper sounds, Torres runs into a takedown and Andrade lifts her bodily and slams her with a double-leg.
They touched gloves for the second. Torres got back to her movement, throwing out a body kick. Andrade rushed in, landing to the body and head. Torres landed a one-two, backed away, ended in the clinch, with Andrade picking her up bodily and slamming her. Torres looked for the reverse triangle from bottom, but Andrade got her head free. Torres locked it up again for a moment, and again Andrade broke free. Jessica stood up, holding an ankle, looking to pass guard, but Torres found an opening to get back up. She landed a nice right hand, but ate a hook in return. This happened another three times. Andrade got a single-leg, Torres looked to take her back mid-air, and Andrade slammed her off onto the floor. Torres got back up, but again, her attempt to scramble to the back was met with a slam. Torres looked for the armbar from the bottom, but Andrade powered out of it. Nice upkick from Torres landed! She locked up another armbar attempt, but Andrade picked her up until she slipped out of it. Torres got back up, and Andrade grabbed a headlock. Torres got a bodylock, but was unable to drag Andrade down before the round ended.
The third round found both fighters with all to fight for. Andrade rushed forward through those backstepping punches and took Torres down. Torres got back up. Andrade kept her pinned to the cage but only for a couple moments. Torres landed a calf kick but ate the return hook. She stepped into a combination, Andrade slipped and slammed her. Torres got right back up, trying to break the bodylock. Andrade scooped up a leg and put Torres on her back again. Torres has been making this a fight, but Andrade is a wrecking machine. Andrade postured in half guard, raining down hammerfists and punches to the body. She hammered the body with repeated fists, then passed guard into smothering side control. Torres looked to shrimp, but it took a lot of space before she managed to get back up, and Andrade immediately took her down. Torres scrambled, nearly taking Andrade’s back! But once again Andrade shucked her off. Torres got up, Andrade took her down again and finished the fight raining down punches. Great fight, but Andrade’s endurance and power down the stretch has simply proven impossible to deal with at strawweight, unless your name is Joanna Jedrjezczyk.
Andrade wore a big blue traditional Brazilian headdress in her post-fight interview. Translated, her first response is a big thanks to her trainer. She said she knows Tecia is a very tough fighter, and she knew it would be tough fight. If God wills, the title will come. Already ranked number two in the division before this win, Jessica Andrade has to be facing the winner of the Joanna Jedrjezczyk vs. Rose Namajunas rematch.
Official result: Jessica Andrade def. Tecia Torres via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28x2)
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