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Jessica Andrade shows no fear ahead of potential fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Ultimate Fighting Championship

Jessica Andrade shows no fear ahead of potential fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Published Jan. 12, 2017 4:51 p.m. ET

Top five ranked strawweight Jessica Andrade is likely just one win away from challenging for the UFC strawweight title, but she's already eyeing the potential matchup with current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Andrade is currently awaiting word on her next bout but if she's victorious, it's likely the 25-year old Brazilian will get a title shot at Jedrzejczyk later this year.

Since winning the belt in 2015, Jedrzejczyk has defended the title four times but as impressive as she's been on the surface, Andrade says she's already mentally defeated most of her opponents before they ever step into the cage with her.

"We always see everybody going against Joanna and they seem to be scared of her striking. As good as she is, she has shown a lot of flaws in her striking game," Andrade explained when speaking to FOX Sports. "Offensively, she's very good but defensively she's not all that great.

"There is a lot of room to work there."

Where Andrade truly questions the current strawweight champion is with her ability to truly take a hit and still continue to move forward.

In her most recent fight against fellow Polish strawweight Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205, Jedrzejczyk found herself in trouble after getting caught with a stiff punch in the fourth round that definitely had her reeling.

Andrade knows deep down that if she hit Jedrzejczyk with a similar shot there would be no recovery because the referee would have already stopped the fight and there would be a new UFC champion crowned.

"We know that I'm probably better than her on the ground than on the stand up but then again her takedown defense is so good, she gets up so well from the bottom. Probably something that wouldn't be worth wasting the energy on when we can just go ahead, show no respect and just punch her right in the face," Andrade said. "Just go straight after her and test that chin of hers.

"She has shown she's a little bit chinny. I don't think anybody in this division hits as hard as me and I'm going to take that belt by knockout if I can."


Boxing coach Angelo Reyes, who has worked with Jedrzejczyk in the past as well as just recently spending some time with Andrade agrees with that assessment of the current strawweight champion.

He witnessed first hand when watching Jedrzejczyk face off with Claudia Gadelha last July that she can get stung with a hard punch and Reyes knows after testing Andrade's boxing that she's got plenty of power to hurt the champion if they face off in the Octagon.

"No question Joanna is good. She is the world champion. There's that for a reason. But to be honest, she does have a lot of holes and we've seen it exposed by Claudia Gadelha, I was there for the second fight and Claudia knocked her down with a jab. Even with her most recent fight, Karolina (Kowalkiewicz) is a great fighter but she's not the hardest hitter in the world and the fact that Karolina was able to push (Joanna) hard enough that it ended up being a war with the two of them. But what does that say to you?" Reyes told FOX Sports.

"Joanna hasn't shown one punch power and I believe that in the women's division, while that is hard to find, one of the rare occasions where you do see someone with pure power is Jessica."

In fact, Reyes looks at Andrade and sees a very unique fighter who has all the potential to tear through the best of the best in the division with the ability to knock anybody out who stands across from her in the Octagon.

"I felt her punches in some of the sequences and techniques that I would show and I'm telling you, if she hits anyone in her next fight clean, she will knock them out. I think we're about to see someone who has that (Mike) Tyson like power that we love to see," Reyes said.

"She ate up Jessica Penne and then you saw what she did to (Joanne) Calderwood and she was coming off beating (Valerie) Letourneau and she had just fought for the title. When you're seeing the raw potential of what Jessica can become, I understand why Carla Esparza or some other fighters might want to stay away from her."

Andrade was supposed to fight at UFC 207 but her original opponent Maryna Moroz was forced off the card due to injury and her replacement, Angela Hill, was unable to take the fight because she was required to go through four months of drug testing through USADA before returning to the UFC.

As of now, Andrade wants to get one more fight under her belt so she can invest the money made from that bout into a camp to prepare for Jedrzejczyk later this year. By the end of 2017, Andrade plans to have several wins and a UFC title around her waist.

"We're hoping, praying that we get this fight as soon as possible. For now, we're just working hard and making sure that we're ready," Andrade said.

"When we get that fight, get the 'W' and then get the title. Hopefully by the end of the year, I'll be the strawweight champion."


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