January 19, 2023 10:15 am ET
RIO DE JANEIRO – Jessica Andrade already has “UFC champion” listed on her resume, but that doesn’t hinder her hunger to get back to the top again.
At UFC 283, Andrade (23-9 MMA, 14-7 UFC) fights former UFC women’s flyweight title challenger Lauren Murphy (16-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) in her home country of Brazil. Aware of the situation, Andrade knows Murphy is a stiff test. With big risk comes big reward, she predicted.
“She’s a really tough athlete,” Andrade told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 283 media day. “She’s very resistant with the blows. She’s got grappling, good jiu-jitsu. But I’ve got Brazilian jiu-jitsu and she’s going to be here and we’re going to use it. … I want to go back to my division. Of course, there’s (flyweight champion) Valentina (Shevchenko), but I really want another chance to fight (strawweight champ) Weili Zhang. I think with a victory on Saturday, that could happen.”
Andrade, 31, is compact for the 125-pound weight class. She’s competed at both strawweight and flyweight during her UFC tenure. With eight finishes, Andrade is considered by some to be one of the most imposing and explosive fighters in the women’s divisions. Andrade thinks her strength will be the X-factor Saturday vs. Murphy.
“I’ve fought Valentina, who is very strong as well,” Andrade said. “But I think I’m something different. I always talk to my opponents after the fight and they really say that I am really strong: ‘Jessica is super strong.’ I think that Lauren, at the end, is going to be saying the same thing.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 283.