Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight champion Jessica Andrade debuted at No. 1 in the flyweight rankings after scoring a first-round knockout win over veteran bruiser Katlyn Chookagian at UFC Fight Island 6 back in October.
The victory, coupled with her resume at 115 pounds, was enough to convince promotion president Dana White to give Andrade the next crack at reigning flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, who is 6-0 since dropping down from the bantamweight division.
“We will see if this fight happens in March or April,” Andrade told UFC.com. “I’m really a problem for her. I respect her a lot, I know she has been a very imposing champion and is very difficult to beat, but I believe that my game is very dangerous for her fighting style. I believe that my differentials are my power, my speed, my conditioning, the fact that I can take shots and absorb them well. That’s what makes me so dangerous in this weight class.”
Andrade (21-8) captured the strawweight title from Rose Namajunas at UFC 237 but coughed up the crown to Weili Zhang in her very first title defense. What followed was a split-decision loss to “Thug Rose” at UFC 251, prompting the jump to flyweight.
As for Shevchenko (20-3), her only losses under the UFC banner have come by way of close decision to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. “Bullet” has secured three finishes at 125 pounds, two of them by way of brutal knockout.
Andrade vs. Shevchenko ... who ya’ got?