RIO DE JANEIRO — Jessica Andrade is set to defend her UFC title against Weili Zhang on Aug. 31 in Shenzhen, China, but a pair of strawweights have been poking at the UFC queen in interviews.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk, a former 115-pound titleholder who defeated the Brazilian by decision in 2017, recently told ESPN she wasn’t impressed by some of the training videos Andrade posted on her social media.
Claudia Gadelha, who lost to “Bate Estaca” later that year, told Helen Yee that Andrade is so much stronger than her opposition that it’s not fair that she’s fighting at strawweight.
In Andrade’s view, her former rivals are just jealous.
“I’m already used to having (Gadelha) and Joanna talking a bunch of stuff, but it’s jealousy because I won the belt and they haven’t,” Andrade said during a media day in Brazil. “They want attention and I won’t give them any attention. They have to fight and show who deserves to fight for the belt. I had to fight three times and earn the opportunity to fight for the belt again, so they have to do the same.
“Claudia Gadelha had so many opportunities to win the belt against Joanna, I had one—and I believe that down the line, with Joanna winning, we’ll have a rematch. That Jessica from two, three years ago is not the same anymore. I believe I’ll keep this belt for a long time.”
The Brazilian champion believes Jedrzejczyk, who’s currently booked to fight Michelle Waterson on Oct. 12, is trying to poke her into asking for a rematch sooner rather than later.
“She’s smart,” Andrade said. “I saw that (comment) when she posted it, but I didn’t care. I won’t post videos like her on Instagram. What’s the point of hitting pads, landing 10,000 punches, and then landing punches that are soft as feathers in the fight? I hit hard. I won’t post videos of my best weapon online so others will look at it. I’ll post what I think looks nice but doesn’t get much attention.
“She wants attention, she wants to talk me into asking for this fight before it’s time. She has to eat more rice and beans, has to get there and earn her chance. There are others ahead of her.”
As for Gadelha’s comments about it being unfair to have Andrade competing among 115-pounders, the champion thinks it’s just nonsense.
“Making weight is what matters, not the strength,” Andrade said with a laugh. “But it’s all good. If she gets more wins like I did to earn another opportunity to fight for the belt, why not? I’d fight her again.”