Jessica Andrade believes champ Julianna Pena is ‘no doubt’ easier to beat than top UFC strawweights, flyweights


Jessica Andrade is the only women to score wins in three UFC weight classes, having finished opponents from strawweight all the way to bantamweight. And “Bate-Estaca” sees the 135-pound champion, Julianna Pena, as an easier foe than those lighter than her.

Andrade, speaking on the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocacao Franca , Andrade, said that beating Amanda Nunes, the MMA legend, could be more difficult than defeating the likes Valentina Shevchenko or Rose Namajunas or Weili Zhang at 115, 125 pound.

” In theory it is easier to fight Julianna than fighting Amanda,” Andrade stated. It was Amanda [losing than Peña winning], that I felt it was. Amanda is far superior to what she has shown. She was submitted with no hooks in, you could see the pressure wasn’t too much. However, I am not sure how Amanda was weighed — Amanda had been fighting [at bantamweight], for two years. So something could have influenced and contributed to her weight loss. She got tired so quickly. This was not the Amanda that we are used to seeing. Perhaps she’ll show us the Amanda in the rematch to get our belts back.

” If that does not happen, it would be easier to fight Julianna then the girls at 125 or 115.. We should have the chance to fight for the belt one day. It’s the easiest matchup I believe. It’s not unusual to fight 125 girls and 115, women who have more power and speed in their strikes. 135 people are slower due to how heavy they are and their movement. It’s not worth getting them tired. I get better round after round, I don’t get tired, I don’t slow down, and that would be a good key for me to beat Julianna and maybe win the 135-pound belt.”

Andrade was scheduled to face Pena at UFC 171 back in 2014, months after the Brazilian scored her first octagon victory over Rosi Sexton and “The Venezuelan Vixen” won The Ultimate Fighter 18. But Pena withdrew due to a knee injury and was sidelined for years. Andrade went on to defeat short-notice replacement Raquel Pennington via decision.

The Brazilian ended up cutting to 115 pounds years later and became UFC champion. She has jumped up and down between strawweight and flyweight in recent years, finishing Amanda Lemos and Cynthia Calvillo in back-to-back fights.

“Maybe it’s worth taking a chance on going back to 135 in the future so that people can see I won in all three weight classes but not in my final years of my career,” Andrade stated. “It could be a cool option. It could be an interesting test. Fighting Julianna would be great. It would be great to win 135? champion.

“I was unable to face 115 or 125, so I decided to take on 135. to win the title. It’s an option. It’s possible. I’m living here [in Las Vegas] now, so it’s much easier. You can reach me at .”

by knocking on my door.