One of the most fearsome female fighters on the UFC’s roster, Jessica Andrade has long been a top contender in the UFC. For the second time in her career, she gets a crack at the belt. While she lost her initial attempt at the hands of Joanna Jedrzejczyk, this time around she faces Rose Namajunas at UFC 237 for the women’s strawweight championship. (You can order the PPV here through ESPN+.)
Initially starting her career two weight classes above where she currently fights, Andrade saw her career blossom after finding her new home at 115 pounds. While a top contender at bantamweight, she has become one of the sport’s most fearsome fighters at strawweight. Known for her vicious punches and brutalizing throws, Andrade is a throwback style of fighter capable of bullying her division like few other fighters in history.
Without a championship belt to her resume, Andrade is hoping to finally capture the missing hardware she has long been after at UFC 237. That said, Andrade is only 27 years old and just entering her fighting prime. There is a good chance we see her competing for a belt frequently over the next few years.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Who Is Jessica Andrade’s Wife?
Jessica Andrade married Fernanda Gomes in 2019. The two have been together for a number of years and Fernanda is present at most, if not all, of Andrade’s fights. According to Fernanda’s Instagram, she is a lover of photography and studied Biology.
Andrade actually proposed to Fernanda in the Octagon back in 2017. After her five-round war with former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk that resulted in a decision loss, Andrade popped the question during the UFC 211 pay per view.
Andrade and Gomes were married in Las Vegas at the famous Graceland Wedding Chapel. With a heavy Elvis theme, the chapel specializes in having Elvis impersonators conduct the wedding ceremony. The same chapel featured in the smash hit movie, “The Hangover”, the Graceland Wedding Chapel has a storied history in both TV and Film.
2. What Is Jessica Andrade’s Career Record?
Jessica Andrade has a professional record of 19-6. After turning pro in 2011, Andrade quickly moved up the ranks. Making her UFC debut just two years after turning pro, Andrade initially started her career fighting at bantamweight, nearly 20 pounds heavier than her competition at strawweight. During her time as a bantamweight, Andrade put together a 13-5 record.
However, after dropping down in weight and moving to strawweight, Andrade has gone 5-1 with wins over much higher caliber competition. Being slightly undersized, especially at bantamweight, fighting at strawweight allows Andrade to help mitigate the height she gives up while maximizing her incredible strength.
Known as one of the strongest female fighters on the UFC roster, Andrade brings a level of strength and power that you simply don’t find in the women’s strawweight division. Since dropping down in weight, she has been able to more effectively utilize her strength. Much better at stalking down opponents and using a vicious ground and pound game, Andrade is a more complete fighter at strawweight.
UFC 237 airs May 11 on ESPN+. You can order it here.
3. What Is Jessica Andrade’s Height?
Jessica Andrade is 5’2″. Clocking in a bit shorter than most of her competition, Andrade has only faced a single fighter, Tecia Torres, that has been shorter than she is in the UFC. While she did start her career fighting nearly 20 pounds heavier against some of the bigger female fighters in the promotion, the move down to Strawweight has proven to help tremendously in terms of mitigating the size advantage of other fighters and using her strength.
Despite her lack of height, she comes into the cage considerably more well-built compared to other female fighters. Andrade possesses a ton of natural strength and has even been compared to some of the men’s flyweight fighters in terms of how strong she is.
Going up against Rose Namajunas, Andrade is giving up roughly three inches of height. However, she should be walking into the cage weighing nearly 10-15 pounds heavier than Namajunas – if not more. Namajunas is a crisp striker with an extremely slick ground game, so this fight will likely need to see Andrade find a way inside Namajunas’ reach and punish her from the clinch and in smothering positions on the ground.
4. Who Could Be Jessica Andrade’s Next Fight?
If Jessica Andrade wins, her next opponent will likely be the winner of the Tatiana Suarez and Nina Ansaroff showdown in early June. The number three and four ranked fighters in the division, their showdown is undoubtedly a title eliminator. Suarez is currently an undefeated 7-0 and looks to be one of the UFC’s brighter prospects. Meanwhile, Ansaroff is a longtime UFC veteran who, after stumbling in her first two fights, has rattled off four big wins.
Should Jessica Andrade lose, a possible rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk might be in the cards. The former champion is waiting until the second half of 2019 to sign onto a new fight, which would line up perfectly with Andrade’s fight schedule. After losing her immediate rematch to try and recapture the belt, Jedrzejczyk needs a big name win before taking another shot at her former belt and Andrade is a top three fighter at the weight, win or lose against Namajunas. While Jedrzejczyk won the last bout convincingly, Andrade has only looked better in the two years since they last met.
If Jedrzejczyk doesn’t pan out, Andrade could be in line for someone along the lines of Claudia Gadelha or Carla Esparza. Neither fighter has an opponent lined up and both would make for a solid bounce-back should Andrade drop her fight against Namajunas. Seeing as Andrade recently beat Gadelha in convincing fashion, Esparza might be the best option for Andrade moving forward.
5. What Happened in Jessica Andrade vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz?
Jessica Andrade defeated Karolina Kowalkiewicz with a first-round knockout. Andrade calmly walked to the center of the ring after the opening bell before unleashing a brutal flurry of punches on Kowalkiewicz. While Kowalkiewicz would eventually find a bit of room to work and land a few counter shots, Andrade smothered her with relentless pressure and heavy shots from the opening bell.
Just before the three-minute mark in the first round, Andrade uncorked a vicious right hook that sent Kowalkiewicz out. The referee immediately jumped in and Andrade didn’t need to follow up with any punches on the ground, securing a clean one-punch knockout.
The win over Kowalkiewicz, who at the time was the fourth-ranked women’s strawweight, set up Andrade’s shot at Rose Namajunas here at UFC 237. Andrade’s only loss at strawweight has come to former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Outside of the Joanna fight, Andrade has looked borderline unstoppable at her new weight.
UFC 237 airs May 11 on ESPN+. You can order it here.