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Jessica Andrade: Fan criticism interfered with my performance against Weili Zhang

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Former UFC strawweight champion says she was not her usual self when she lost the belt to Weili Zhang.

UFC Fight Night Andrade v Zhang Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade recently revealed a contributing factor to why she believes she lost her belt to Weili Zhang back in August. Knocked out in only 42 seconds by ‘Magnum,’ the Brazilian told Ag Fight that she allowed fan criticism get to her head before her first title defense.

After knocking out then champion Rose Namajunas via power slam, in a fight she was losing up until that moment, ‘Bate-Estaca’ says she wanted to show the world she did not become the champion due to a fluke. Unfortunately, she feels that attitude ended up costing her.

“At first it was really disappointing. Whether you like it or not, you go out there to prove you’ve earned that. After I beat Rose and won the belt, I heard too many comments along the lines of ‘Oh, that was luck.’ You think that doesn’t get to you? But it was something that influenced me a lot, to have this thirst to finish the fight soon and really show that I was the champion and deserved to be there—that it wasn’t luck. Because of that, I ended up losing the belt. That’s something I learned from that loss, not to care too much about people think, and just trust my abilities.”

Before the loss, Jessica Andrade (20-7) was on a four-fight winning streak, with victories over Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and the aforementioned Namajunas, back in May. The UFC has yet to announce a return to the Octagon for Andrade since her defeat in Shenzhen, China.