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Jessica Andrade signs new contract ahead of UFC Vegas 69 headliner, banking ‘almost three times more’ than previous deal

MMA: JAN 21 UFC 283
Jessica Andrade
Photo by Leandro Bernardes/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UFC Vegas 69 was in need of a new main event, so Jessica Andrade used the opportunity to secure a lucrative new deal with the company.

The Feb. 18 card was originally set to be headlined by Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen at the UFC APEX, but a change of plans left Taila Santos vs. Erin Blanchfield as the top billing. When Santos decided to withdraw a week out, the company needed to find another opponent to face Blanchfield.

Andrade accepted the offer this past Friday and signed a new UFC deal, one she said is significantly better. The fighter, who had one bout left on her previous contract, said she’s set to make “almost three times more” than for her UFC 283 win over Lauren Murphy.

“It was something really good, a great change in my career,” Andrade said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “Now I’ll really be able to make my nest egg and plan my life. Maybe my body won’t be the same in five or six years, so now I’ll be able to change my life and my family’s lives.

“This is work well done from my part, but also my team, to be putting on good fights and always being available when the UFC needs. This fight has really saved my life in every sense. I’ll even buy my mother a new house.”

The former UFC strawweight champion and flyweight contender said her previous contract had 10 bouts, and her new manager Ali Abdelaziz advised against a similar deal.

This time, Andrade said, she’s kicking off a four-fight contract.

“My last contract had 10 fights, but Ali said that was crazy, that it wasn’t a good idea to have a contract with so many fights,” she said. “He said, ‘Let’s do the next contracts with less fights, but with you getting paid more.’”

Andrade said Blanchfield is a tough opponent, one who is ranked No. 9 in MMA Fighting’s rankings, so “nobody wanted to fight her on short notice.” But she welcomed the challenge.

Andrade said she was walking around at 145 pounds when the UFC offered the fight on Feb. 10, but she nonetheless expects a smooth seven-day cut to 125 pounds.

“People say I’m saving the UFC [by taking this fight], but I’ll tell you this, the UFC has saved me many times before too,” she said. “It’s a double-edged sword. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

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