Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade? After UFC 228, that sounds mighty okay, but unfortunately Shevchenko fights at flyweight while Andrade competes 10 pounds lighter in the strawweight division. But, the fight could have gone down this weekend in Dallas, Texas, if it wasn’t for pesky athletic commission rules.
As you probably already know, Shevchenko was set to challenge Nicco Montano for the women’s flyweight belt, only to have Montano pulled from the event with kidney issues. Montano was stripped of the belt and the fight completely called off, but not before Andrade offered to move up a weight class to face Shevchenko.
“I even offered to fight for the belt if they agreed to,” Andrade revealed at the UFC 228 post-event press conference (via MMA Fighting). “But since they had already weighed me and done all the work, I wasn’t allowed by the athletic commission. But I’m happy I was able to help the promotion, help the UFC with a great show and excite people.”
While Andrade didn’t get to fight for the freshly vacant belt, she did get a little profile bump over the cancellation. Andrade’s fight with Karolina Kowalkiewicz was moved up into the co-main position, so those tuning in for the main event were more likely to see her crushing two-minute destruction of Kowalkiewicz.
Anyone who saw that performance probably agrees that Andrade should be next for champion Rose Namajunas, so missing out on a shot at the flyweight belt isn’t a big deal. As far as Andrade is concerned, she’s still hoping to finish the year a champion, anyway.