UFC president Dana White revealed to the media on Wednesday per BT Sport that one of the UFC fighters that competed in the first Fight Island card at UFC 251 on July 11 has decided to live there for the whole month in anticipation of stepping up to fight again on short notice.
Jessica Andrade suffered a split-decision loss to Rose Namajunas over the weekend at UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal, but the 28-year-old Brazilian told White she’s staying on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi all month long in hopes of getting another fight there.
“She hit me up and said, ‘I’m already training and ready to go.’ She’s a little beast…,” White said.
You can watch White talk about the former women’s strawweight champ’s decision below.
"She's a little beast!" 💪@danawhite says @jessicammapro has decided to stay on #UFCFightIsland after her defeat to Rose Namajunas and volunteered to step-in for anyone who gets COVID-19 🙌 pic.twitter.com/SwrBJnIgbh
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 15, 2020
Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas Now Tied 1-1
Andrade shockingly defeated Namajunas for the UFC’s women’s strawweight championship at UFC 237 in Brazil in May 2019.
Andrade violently slammed the American down to the mat in the second round to notch the title-winning victory, but she lost her UFC gold in her following fight against Weili Zhang.
So Andrade and Namajunas met at UFC 251 in a rematch to determine who might be next for the current champ.
Similar to the first fight, Namajunas got off to the fast start but Andrade’s toughness carried her over the second half of the fight.
In the end, Andrade distorted her opponent’s face to the point that she was virtually unrecognizable but couldn’t quite do enough to sway all three judges to score the bout her way.
Regardless, Andrade proved against Namajunas that she’s still one of the top 115-pound fighters on the planet.
It was a brilliant action fight that showed why each fighter remained slotted in the No. 1 and No. 2 contender positions per the UFC’s official rankings at 115.
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What’s Next for Jessica Andrade?
Andrade is going to live in Abu Dhabi in hopes of landing another fight.
That will happen for at least the rest of July as the UFC’s currently scheduled line-up is set to take place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
As for potential late notice fights for Andrade, the former champ could likely fit into any slot that might include her facing any of the women’s strawweights set to appear on Fight Island this month, as well as potentially any women’s flyweights that might be interested in catchweight bouts.
While the UFC typically doesn’t like to make catchweight bouts, it’s something the company has seemed more agreeable to during these uncertain times.
In fact, that’s something UFC president White should probably be commended for doing right now.
While other MMA and boxing promoters continue to fumble their ways through the pandemic with little direction, White just keeps making big fights happen.
That has to be easier with fighters like Andrade on the roster that are willing to do just about anything to get big fights, including living on Fight Island for the foreseeable future.
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