Jessica Andrade lost the UFC strawweight title to Weili Zhang in the main event of UFC’s first trip to Shenzhen, China, on Saturday, and took to social media to respond to critics.
After the bout, Andrade’s social media — as well as the official UFC Brazil Instagram account — was flooded by messages from Brazilian fans criticizing her 42-second loss, including ones suggesting that she was paid to lose to Zhang.
In a lengthy statement in Portuguese, “Bate Estaca” gave props to her opponent and promised to come back a better fighter.
I was waiting for a moment of calm to write to you. I want to thank all my real fans and friends for the support. I’m not sad, we did everything right, I was very well trained and focused, it was one of the fights that I was the most prepared for, but unfortunately Zhang’s hand landed first and I went down, and then it came a series of elbows that I went out and tried to recover, but a knee came right after, so it was impossible to continue. I don’t feel embarrassed because that happens to all fighters one day. I happened to Aldo, to Joanna, to Cyborg, to Anderson Silva, to Junior ‘Cigano’.
Anyway, my master Gilliard Parana and my entire team PRVT did a good job. We have nothing to say or fix, or at least think that we could have done better, because we did the best. What would a winning streak be if it wasn’t for the bitter taste of defeat? A champion isn’t made of wins only. It wasn’t my first loss and it certainly won’t be the last. I know how to deal well with all this, this landslide of critics and absurds that the Brazilians are saying. I just want to leave one message for the critics: NO ONE ENTERS THAT OCTAGON TO LOSE but the career I chose has these things. We’ll come back stronger.
It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a restart. I have a solid career with 27 fights, I was the first Brazilian woman to fight in the UFC Octagon, I’m a veteran in the promotion and in women’s MMA. I became the No. 1 (ranked) in the world now because above me there’s only the champion Weili Zhang, who fought really well! And deserves the title. We continue at the top because there’s our place, and life goes on!
I have incredible people by my side. I can’t wait to get back home to rest, stay with friends and family, because those who truly know me know that these last months weren’t easy. I had eight tireless months of work, but it was all worth it. Today I sleep well because I know my work was well done. I gave happiness to the Brazilian country and I have nothing to be ashamed about.