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Jessica Andrade: Knockout of Karolina Kowalkiewicz leaves ‘no doubt’ I’m next for Rose Namajunas

Jessica Andrade stopped Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the first round at UFC 228.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jessica Andrade gave Karolina Kowalkiewicz the fastest loss of her MMA career at UFC 228, stopping her with punches in less than two minutes Saturday night in Dallas, and believes it was enough to guarantee another shot at the strawweight belt.

Andrade says she focused on muay thai training for three months ahead of UFC 228, and it paid off with her quickest win since joining the UFC in 2013.

”I came here believing I would knock her out, but I didn’t imagine I would knock her out so fast, in the first round,” Andrade said at the post-fight press conference. “I was very confident in my strength, confident in everything I could do in there. I knew all the techniques Karolina does, and it worked, I was able to knock her out and get this impressive victory. I’m sure there’s no doubt that I’m next in line for the belt.

”I was waiting for the right time, to find the perfect punch to get this knockout,” she continued. “I felt that I got her dizzy in the beginning of the fight, she was a bit wobbly, and I found the right moment to connect good strikes and show I’ve evolved in the muay thai area. I was really well. I came out uninjured, so I think I was able to show everyone my evolution.”

Before flying to Dallas to compete, Andrade told Brazilian reporters during a media day in Rio de Janeiro that she was hoping for a championship fight with strawweight champion Rose Namajunas at the UFC 232 pay-per-view card on Dec. 29. After the win, she doubled down on the request.

Now riding a three-fight winning streak after her first knockout in more than two years, “Bate Estaca” believes she can beat Namajunas anywhere the fight goes.

”Rose is a very versatile athlete, she works her striking well,” Andrade said. “She has evolved a lot since her fight with Karolina, but I believe I have a great chance of defeating the champion on the feet and on the ground. I’ve evolved a lot, and this knockout tonight got me one step closer to fighting for the belt and showing people that I can be a great striker, a great grappler, and that I will give a tough time to every girl in this division.”

UFC 232 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and will feature a battle between Brazilian champions Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes.

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