Jessica Andrade put herself up for title contention after her come-from-behind, powerful performance against Tecia Torres at UFC on FOX 28 in Orlando, Florida. With a heavy wrestling-oriented strategy, Andrade was able to ragdoll her opponent and control the fight enough to warrant a unanimous decision victory.
Her coach and head of the Parana Vale-Tudo gym, Gilliard Parana, was more than happy with the performance. As he explained to Combate, that was just the showing he needed to prove that his team is one of the best teams for women’s MMA fighters in the world, after pundits started questioning his practices following Priscila Cachoeira’s UFC debut against Valentina Shevchenko.
“I’m relieved, because what I say is always what happens,” Parana said. “We have the greatest female team in Brazil, and maybe the greatest one in the world. The win is a relief and will shut up people who didn’t know what they were talking about. We are very aware of our work and we know it’s good. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have two fighters in the UFC and Cachoeira wouldn’t have gone 8-0 in the Brazilian circuit, against the best fighters in the country.”
Furthermore, Parana says the key to Andrade’s victory against Torres was to change their strategy in between rounds.
“It was a sensational performance,” he said. “We expected a tough fight, but it was harder than expected. Jessica lost herself a little at the start, because she didn’t expect that, but we’re going for the belt. Everything worked out in the end. Jessica was a heavy favorite and sometimes that can get in the way during a fight. She’s used to being the underdog. When the first round ended, I told her ‘Let’s hit her body more and go for more takedowns.’ We changed our strategy in the middle of the fight and it worked.”
With her win against Torres, Jessica Andrade now finds herself on a two-fight winning streak, with a win against former title challenger Jessica Gadelha. Her sole loss in the division was to former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who will rematch current champ Rose Namajunas at UFC 223 in April.