Jessica Andrade hopes UFC 283 win sets up Zhang Weili rematch: ‘I went to China, now she comes to Brazil’


Jessica Andrade flew to China to defend her UFC strawweight title against Zhang Weili in 2019 and lost, and now wants the 115-pound queen to return the favor.

“Bate Estaca” competed in two weight classes since waving goodbye to her title in 2019, and faces Lauren Murphy in a flyweight showdown at Saturday’s UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hoping that it could lead to a title shot in a different division.

Amanda Lemos, who could be in top position to challenge Zhang next after finishing Michelle Waterson-Gomez and Marina Rodriguez in her most recent UFC bouts, was submitted by Andrade less than nine months ago. Andrade feels “the UFC is waiting for the result of my next fight” to decide what’s next for Zhang.

“I really want to go back to 115 and stay there and fight for the belt again with Zhang Weili,” Andrade said on this week’s Trocação Franca. “I know Amanda Lemos is on the way and we might have to rematch, but then Weili would be holding the belt for a long time. Beating Lauren Murphy and asking for the title shot, I think the UFC gives me this chance against Weili.”

The UFC is returning to Brazil for the first time in nearly three years for this weekend’s event in Rio de Janeiro and plans on holding two more shows in the country in 2023. With that in mind, Andrade said “I wanna fight Weili in their next card [in Brazil].”

“I went to China, now she comes to Brazil,” she said. “I believe she would [do it]. Even though she’s asking for her next fight to be in China, I don’t know how the good the pandemic situation is in China right now. I think if they really asked for this fight to be in Brazil, I think she would say yes.

“I want to take her out of her comfort zone. ‘I’ll do exactly what you did to me, take you where everything is different.’ Las Vegas would be easier for her as it would be for me, but I want her out of her comfort zone. And I’m home in Brazil, right?”

Returning to 115 pounds for good and targeting a rematch with Weili doesn’t mean Andrade would never go back to flyweight, though. In fact, she might scrap all those plans if the UFC offers a shot at Valentina Shevchenko immediately after UFC 283

“My focus is to go back straight to 115 and stay there until I win the belt, and then maybe I get a chance to fight Valentina again down the line,” said Andrade, who challenged “Bullet” for the 125-pound title in 2021 but lost via second-round TKO. “If the UFC offers me a title fight with Valentina right after this one, anything can happen. We want a belt, doesn’t matter which one [laughs].”


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