Jessica Andrade returns to action against Yan Xiaonan at UFC 288, which takes place this weekend (Sat., May 6, 2023) inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (full breakdown here). And she’s hoping this fight doesn’t go the way her last bout in February went against rising contender, Erin Blanchfield, who submitted “Bate Estaca” in the second stanza (watch it).
Not only did Andrade lose that fight and drop out of immediate contention for the women’s Flyweight title, she didn’t live up to her high standards of performance. That’s because a wardrobe malfunction early in the fight left her mentally distracted, Indeed, Adrade was worried her UFC uniform was going to keep exposing her breasts to everyone watching inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada ... and at home on ESPN+.
While she was thinking about that, Blanchfield was thinking about that aforementioned fight-ending, rear-naked choke.
“I worried about my top, because it was kind of running there, exposing me,” Andrade said at UFC 288’s media day. “At that point, I was not focused enough on the fight, and I let this one thing kind of stabilize me. And what happened? Got down to the ground. Even in the locker room, coach said, ‘What is the one thing that you cannot let happen? Don’t give your back.’ And, well, this is the learning experience I’ve had.
“First of all, don’t give your back to Erin Blanchfield,” she continued. “And also focus. Focus on the fight at all times. Don’t let a small thing take the focus off the big thing, because that’s what happened right there. You saw it.”
Andrade says she’s made some different clothing choices this time around. Instead of a sports top, she’ll be wearing the full shirt version available to female fighters. And a really tight one at that to ensure everything stays in its rightful place.
“Yes, [I’ll be wearing a shirt], especially because of the weight now — it’s even lower,” Andrade said. “I had the extra small and asked to make it really tight. I don’t want it to happen [again]. I don’t want anything to be running. I don’t want anything to be exposed. Do not worry, I’m gonna even look fat a little bit. You’re gonna see some fat coming from places, it’s gonna be so tight.”
Whatever it takes to keep Andrade focused is good. She was on a three-fight win streak leading into the Blanchfield fight, with her sole losses over the past eight years coming to current or former women’s champions.
Therefore, a win over Yan Xiaonan should put her back in the contender’s circle. A loss? One step closer to gatekeeper status.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 288 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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