With back-to-back losses to Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili, former women’s Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, looked to get into the Flyweight title mix. And after a first round stoppage of Katlyn Chookagian, “Bate Estaca” punched her ticket to a dance with Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 261 tonight (Sat., April 24, 2021) inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Andrade was out to become only the second female fighter in UFC history to win titles in two separate divisions; however, Shevchenko is just on another mixed martial arts (MMA) level, brutalizing the Brazilian en route to a bloody second round stoppage.
Andrade whiffed with a low kick early as Shevchenko uncorked a high kick that was blocked. Andrade tried to bull rush her into the cage, but Shevchenko stepped aside and countered moments later with a crisp one-two combination upstairs. Shevchenko with a body lock takedown in the middle of the cage, but Andrade was able to eventually escape back to her feet. Shevchenko pieced her up with a slick combination, but then Andrade pressed her into the fence to close the distance. Shevchenko tripped her and landed in side control. maneuvering to her back and sinking in a rear-naked choke along the bottom of the cage. Andrade bucked and was able to get to a knee, peeling off Shevchenko’s hands and escaping the dangerous position. As she wall walked to her feet, Shevchenko blasted Andrade’s face with hard knees. More knees from Shevchenko along the fence, looking to soften up the Brazilian. Shevchenko scored another takedown, her fifth, as the round came to a close. It was a dominant round from the champ.
Shevchenko opened up the second frame with a flurry of check hooks, which she used to score yet another takedown. Shevchenko worked her over from side control, with Andrade finally rolling to her belly and back to her feet after two minutes underneath the champion. She pinned Shevchenko up against the cage and tried to send her for a ride, but Shevchenko defended well and eventually reversed position and dumped Andrade back to the canvas. From there, she locked in a crucifix and rained down hard shots to Andrade’s face — she could not escape. After about a full minute of abuse, Andrade’s face split open, blood pouring from her forehead, and the referee finally stepped in to rescue her from further abuse.
Shevchenko put on a masterclass — there really is no one in the division who comes close to toppling her anytime soon. She has six straight wins since her loss to Amanda Nunes and, honestly, she seems like the only challenge left for Shevchenko at this stage of her game.
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