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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Jessica Andrade after quick KO loss at UFC Shenzhen?

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 157 blew the roof off Universiade Sports Centre last Saturday (Aug. 31, 2019) in Shenzhen, China.

Plenty of fighters were left feeling the blues, including Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, who was knocked out in the third round by Li Jingliang (recap here). And Mark De La Rosa, who suffered his second straight loss under the UFC banner after getting out-pointed by Kai Kara-France.

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Jessica Andrade.

After coming up short in her first attempt to win UFC gold against Joanna Jedrzejczyk back at UFC 211, “Bate Estaca” went on a run determined to get back to the big dance. And she did just that, winning three straight before earning one more chance at the women’s Strawweight belt.

After getting out-struck by Rose Namajunas for seven minutes at UFC 237 this past August, Jessica managed to catch Rose in a bad position, picking her up and slamming her on her neck to knock her clean out (relive it here). And just like that, Jessica fulfilled her lifelong combat sports dream.

But instead of taking time to enjoy the perks that come with being a champion, like photo shoots, press tours and many other extras a UFC champion gets, she opted to get back into the swing of things just three months later.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as an active and eager-to-fight champion is a welcome sight.

Unfortunately for Jessica, it didn’t quite pan out as she hoped, losing her belt in just 42 seconds after getting knocked out by Weili Zhang, who made history by becoming China’s first-ever UFC champion. And she did it in front of her home crowd, nonetheless.

“I want to thank all my real fans and friends for the support,” Andrade wrote (via MMA Fighting). “ I’m not sad, we did everything right, I was very well trained and focused, it was one of the fights that I was the most prepared for, but unfortunately Zhang’s hand landed first and I went down, and then it came a series of elbows that I went out and tried to recover, but a knee came right after, so it was impossible to continue. I don’t feel embarrassed because that happens to all fighters one day. I happened to Aldo, to Joanna, to Cyborg, to Anderson Silva, to Junior ‘Cigano’.”

With the loss, Jessica became the owner of one of the shortest championship reigns under the UFC banner at just three months. But, credit has to be given to her for being game to defend her title so quickly.

As for what’s next for Jessica, a tough road back to the promised land awaits her, as she will undoubtedly have to win a couple of big fights before she gets back into the mix. Tatiana Suarez is likely the next challenge for Zhang, while the winner of Michelle Waterson and Joanna Jedrzejczyk should also get dibs after that. And let’s not forget, Rose Namajunas is still very much in the mix.

As for Andrade’s next challenge, perhaps a showdown against Nina Ansaroff is in order. “The Strina” recently had her four-fight win streak snapped by the aforementioned Suarez at UFC 238, delaying her own championship dreams.

Both Jessica and Nina will still be ranked in the top five once the new rankings come out later this week. Sure, one of them will have end up having lost two straight once the dust clears, but the victor can get right into the mix with an impressive win. Unless you have a better idea?

For complete UFC ‘Shenzhen’ results and coverage click here.

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