UFC women flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko defends her title against Jessica Andrade at UFC 261. This is a huge fight for the future of the division.
Valentina Shevchenko has been dominating the division for a long time now. After Jenifer Maia’s win, Shevchenko looks unbeatable in the division. But, Jessica Andrade might be a tricky opponent for Shevchenko.
Jessica Andrade has looked phenomenal in her last two fights. She destroyed Katlyn Chookagain with body shots and she battered Rose Namajunas in the final round of their rematch. Her boxing has looked sharp, her defense has gotten better and she packs some serious power in her hands. Andrade is a well-rounded fighter who can test Shevchenko in all the aspect of the game.
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However, Jessia Andrade has a very specific game plan to beat Shevchenko after watching Jenifer Maia control Shevchenko on the ground. Maia was able to take Shevchenko down and win the first two rounds against Shevchenko. And the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt, Jessica Andrade is looking to do something similar against Shevchenko.
How can Jessica Andrade beat Valentina Shevchenko
In the UFC 261 countdown promo, Jessica Andrade detailed her gameplan for UFC 261:
“Valentina is definitely a dominant champion. She’s been showing that in every fight. But, obviously, every fighter isn’t a hundred percent perfect. Jenifer has shown that there’s a hole. Her ground game. Against Valentina, she had this problem where she fell on her back and she couldn’t get up. So we’ve been working a lot on that. Because I’m very powerful, I believe I can dominate Valentina on the ground just like Jenifer did.”
Jenifer Maia was so successful against Valentina Shevchenko because she was a solid grappler and she was bigger than Shevchenko in size. But, Jessica Andrade is not going to have the size advantage over Shevchenko. But, she certainly feels that flyweight is the most suitable weight class for her.
Jessica Andrade opens up on her decision to move up to flyweight and stated:
“When I was 135 lbs I was really happy. because I could eat anything I wanted. I used to train really well and hard. And at 115 I would need a lot more energy for the weight cut. The 125-pound division allows me to have both.”
Andrade does have a good chance of beating the flyweight champion. But, Shevchenko seems to be levels above her opponents. But, the key for Andrade will be her power. She has to be precise with her striker while avoiding the lethal strikes from Shevchenko.