With 2 victories since going down a weight class, the Brazilian Jessica Andrade is already considered by many the next challenger to the belt of the Polish Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who has been tearing up the 115lb division ever since winning the belt in a dominant victory.
In an interview with Brazilian media AG Fight, Andrade revealed that the UFC offered her a title fight in April but she did not accept it for financial reasons:
“UFC offered me 2 options, I really want to fight but I need a fight and also a good financial situation to make a good camp and face Joanna. They said “You fight or wait until April to fight for the belt” It would be very difficult to make a fight with the champion without a good preparation. I have to be well prepared to make that fight. I want one more fight to prove that I am in the right division and that I am able to fight for the belt. “
Joanna last fought at UFC 205 and is recovering. I think she cracked her nose. “I think in April it would be a good fight for the belt and I get to fight in January. It would be the right thing,” so she’s going to be on the shelf recovering for a little while still.
Andrade recently fought Jessica Penne and Joanne Calderwood. She was going to face Maryna Moroz at UFC 207, but the fight ended up being canceled after Moroz was injured and was not able to get a new rival for her.
It’s really disappointing that the UFC can sell for billions of dollars, but a skilled fighter like Jessica Andrade has to turn down a shot at the belt, every fighter’s ultimate goal, becasue she can’t afford a champion-level training camp without getting another fight under her belt first. It’s an interesting strategic move. In one sense, she’s playing it safer and giving herself more time to develop before fighting JJ, but on the other hand she’s risking losing her next fight, in which case she’ll be at the back of the line again for that title shot.
Time will tell how it all plays off. Do you think Jessica should have taken the title shot even if she believes she would be better off saving more money first, in order to put on a full champion-caliber camp?