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Jéssica Andrade returning (and staying) at strawweight after UFC Vegas 69 loss

It looks like the former champion is done bouncing between divisions. 

Jéssica Andrade at UFC Vegas 69.
Jéssica Andrade at UFC Vegas 69.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

After several years of alternating between strawweight and flyweight, Jéssica Andrade has decided to commit to one weight class.

Following her loss—a second-round rear-naked choke—to Erin Blanchfield at UFC Vegas 69 this past Saturday, Andrade shared with Heidi Androl of ESPN that she would return to strawweight, the division where she was once champion.

“I have always said, one of the things I wanted to do is actually go back down to strawweight,” said Andrade through an interpreter. “That’s what I want. I wanted to put some roots in there and stay in that division. I did ask for a title shot. I understand if the organization wants to give me a title shot at flyweight, I’ll take it.

“I’m ready all the time,” continued Andrade. “I’ve always said this. I’m always ready for the promotion as much as they’re ready for me, so I’ll take it. But obviously strawweight will be the move.”

Prior to her fight with Blanchfield, the Brazilian thought a win could earn her another championship opportunity against Zhang Weili, the reigning UFC strawweight champion. Andrade and Weili first met at UFC Shenzen, where ‘Magnum’ dethroned the then-champion by first-round TKO.

Since then, Andrade spent her time in two weight classes, but has kept gunning for a rematch with Weili. And with the two-time champion still without an opponent after her second-round submission of Carla Esparza at UFC 281 this past November, the Paraná Vale Tudo hopes to be on the shortlist of potential opponents when ‘Magnum’ returns.

For now, though, Andrade says she goes ‘back to the drawing board’ after this loss. She was previously on a three-fight win streak before accepting the short-notice opportunity to face Blanchfield.

About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)

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