Jessica Andrade has been seeking a fight with Carla Esparza ever since she made her Strawweight debut in June 2016.
Unfortunately for her, Andrade will likely have to wait until at least next year to eventually get this desired match up as both are on different paths at present. Once again the division’s titleholder, Esparza is expected to have her first title defense opposite the woman who dethroned Andrade in Aug. 2019, Zhang Weili.
However, “Bate Estaca” revealed that she and Esparza should have fought when she made her initial move down to the weight class.
“I’ve always been asking to fight her,” Andrade told Ag. Fight. “My first fight at 115 was to be with her and she didn’t want to, because the Brazilians didn’t [make] weight because I had fought Claudia [Gadelha] and she hadn’t beaten her. After I fought Jessica Penne and hit the weight without a problem, I talked to Carla to fight again. She didn’t want to, she blocked me from social media to this day. I can’t see anything of her and it’s part of the game.
“There’s going to come a time when she’s going to have nowhere to run,” she concluded. “After my fight, the idea is to go back to 115, face Zhang Weili, and whoever wins goes to the title shot.”
Starting her career as a 135-pound Bantamweight prospect, Andrade has since found her best success at Strawweight where she claimed gold in 2019. Making her Flyweight debut shortly after dropping the title, Andrade has been bouncing back and forth between the two divisions.
Andrade returned to Strawweight in April 2022 with an impressive standing arm-triangle choke submission win against Amanda Lemos. Now, she gets set to go back up to Flyweight on Sept. 3 at UFC Paris versus France’s Manon Fiorot.
“She is a tough opponent, very strong, and has very good sit-down defenses,” Andrade said. “But I’ve been improving a lot more, within the 125 category I fight much better, so I’ll be able to do a good job, show my style and win at her house.”
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