Former strawweight champion Andrade (24-12 MMA, 15-10 UFC) enters the event on a three-fight losing skid and with her back against the wall when she faces Dern (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in Saturday’s strawweight bout at Madison Square Garden, which is part of the pay-per-view main card.
Although Andrade has been fighting the best competition available across multiple divisions, the results haven’t been going her way. In Dern’s mind, that leaves her both vulnerable and extremely dangerous.
“She’s still there. She’s still got this,” Dern told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 295 media day. “I think she’s going to come with strategy. In the three fights, she was submitted twice and knocked out once. I think she’s going to have a little more of a game plan. I think she’ll still come for war. I think she wants to take my head off. She wants to kill me in this fight.”
Dern, 30, hopes UFC 295 marks the beginning of consistency for her. She’s alternated wins and losses over her past five fights, but is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Angela Hill in May’s UFC Fight Night 223 headliner.
The jiu-jitsu specialist thinks Andrade is a good target to get back on a winning streak, and although she said she “needs to be strategic,” she knows she must be weary of Andrade’s power once they step inside the octagon.
“I’d asked for Rose (Namajunas), but then Rose had gone up a weight,” Dern said. “I think it’s an even better matchup for me with Jessica. She’s had a full training camp. She’s coming off three straight losses. … No one wants to lose four times. I’m just hoping five fights in a year takes a toll on her a little bit.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.