JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Jessica Andrade is vowing to give a different approach to a Valentina Shevchenko fight.
The former UFC strawweight champion thinks Shevchenko’s (20-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) previous opponents have been afraid and have respected her too much in the cage. Andrade (21-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) plans on doing the opposite in their flyweight championship clash at UFC 261, which takes place Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
The Brazilian is confident a different approach will help her dodge the “Bullet,” Shevchenko.
“A lot of opponents that get in there with Valentina respect her way too much and they might be afraid of her because of her history,” Andrade told reporters at Thursday’s UFC 261 pre-fight news conference. “But as much respect that I have outside, once the door closes there will be no respect and I’m going to be in her face the entire time.You can expect five rounds of pressure.
“I believe in myself. I know my potential and I know I can make it into a fight.”
Andrade made her UFC flyweight debut this past October and stopped former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian with a body shot in the first round. The bout with Shevchenko marks the second title shot Andrade will have in the UFC.
If successful Saturday, Andrade will become the second female in the UFC to win two belts in different weight classes. The former strawweight champion is eager for the opportunity to add to her legacy.
“This Saturday, I’m going to do my best for all the fans out there,” Andrade said. “It’s a big chance for me to put a big stamp on my legacy – not just for mine, but my whole team and everybody who’s been working with me for so long.”