essica Andrade aka ‘Bate Estaca’ (meaning “Pile Driver”) from Brazil, was the former undisputed strawweight UFC champion. She began, like many Brazilians to play football in her youth and proved to have a real talent for it.
She received an offer from a São Paulo club to play, but her parents wouldn’t allow her to move there. Nevertheless, Jessica remained determined to become a great football player like Marta Vieira da Silva, a famous Brazilian (that attended Jessica’s fight in 2018, when she won against Tecia Torres via unanimous decision) who made a major name for herself, earning several awards.
Whilst in high school, Jessica discovered martial arts and began practising judo and jiu-jitsu. Being from a farming family, she imbibed a tough, hard-work ethic very early on which would later make her well known for her combination of physical and mental strength. This also probably explains why transitioning into MMA didn’t present such a huge challenge for her.
She won 8 of her first 10 professional fights and overall, earned 7 wins by KO/TKO and 7 by submission.
She arrived in the UFC in 2013 competing in the bantamweight (135lb) division, eventually dropping two weight classes to fight in the strawweight (115 lb) category in 2016.
Despite a somewhat challenging start in the world’s biggest MMA promotion, she went on to win 11 of her 16 bouts and was able to claim the strawweight crown in May 2019 in her homeland of Brazil.
A well-rounded and arguably the most powerful fighter ranked at no.2 in her division, Andrade has earned four Fight of the Night bonuses and three Performance of the Night bonuses in her UFC career so far. After a couple of other background details, let’s take a closer look at Jessica Andrade’s Top 5 MMA Finishes (in descending order)!
[Note: In her most recent outing, Andrade faced Rose Namajunas in a rematch just last month (on July 12) at Fight Island. After a constant back-and-forth, Jessica lost the fight by split decision; despite a major third round where she cut Rose with pelting head strikes. This fight earned her the Fight of the Night award.]
- Vs. Larissa Pacheco — UFC Fight Night 51 (Sept. 13, 2014)
- Vs. Jessica Penne — UFC 199 (June 4, 2016)
- Vs. Joanne Calderwood — UFC 203 (Sept. 10, 2016)
- Vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz — UFC 228 (Sept. 8, 2018)
- Vs. Rose Namajunas — UFC 237 (May 11, 2019)
In the first round, Andrade, in side control position on the ground levied several hammerfists upon Larissa while she tried to reverse the situation.
Pacheco exposed her neck in the attempt which Jessica did not fail to exploit by proceeding to grab it and secure a guillotine choke forcing Larissa to tap.
This earned the Brazilian her first UFC, home-turf win.
This was Jessica Andrade’s UFC strawweight debut.
The first round consisted of striking advances and clinch phases from the Brazilian At the end of the round, the American, Penne, was hurt by a body shot, compelling Andrade to capitalize with an onslaught of strikes.
Penne, in defensive mode, tried to survive whilst seeking a takedown opportunity but failed and was clipped at the ring of the bell.
Finally Andrade out-struck her opponent obliging the referee to call the contest at 2 minutes 56 seconds of the second round.
This is where Andrade earned her first UFC Performance of the Night bonus. With a reach advantage, Joanne fought strategically with jabs and leg kicks to keep the Brazilian away. Andrade was able to get Calderwood in the clinch however, landing some significantly heavy strikes.
Jessica shot a single leg takedown in order to proceed with her groundwork, and the American tried to stand up but was slammed with power back to the mat.
Andrade kept things under control working in her ground strikes and when Calderwood again attempted to stand, she exposed her neck, which afforded Jessica a chance to put on a guillotine choke with a jump into guard. The Scottish fighter was forced to tap in the last 30 seconds of the very first round.
With little to no eye contact to start made between these co-main event protagonists, they went at it with high intensity. It was a back-and-forth striking exchange where both landed strikes that rocked the other.
A left hook from Jessica however managed to dent Karolina’s armour early in the fight. The Polish fighter nevertheless kept on with that Eastern bloc characteristic tenacity, landing weighty punches of her own.
Andrade mustered a right hook however which knocked Kowalkiewicz down. The referee directly intervened to call the contest at 1 minute 58 seconds of the very first round.
This earned Andrade her second Performance of the Night bonus in the UFC. Also, thanks to this victory, she earned a second title shot in UFC’s strawweight division.
Cut on the left eye early in the fight by Namajunas, and taking a knee to body from the champion, Jessica seemed fazed.
Namajunas’ speed and footwork made the difference, and it was obvious that the Brazilian would need to adjust her game plan at the round’s interval.
This is exactly what she managed to do; in the second round, advancing more aggressively toward her opponent who controlled her with jabs in order to keep her against the fence.
Nonetheless Andrade’s power and wrestling skills began to come alive with conviction. During a clinch phase where Namajunas controlled her opponent’s arm, Andrade shot a single leg takedown with Rose’s arm caught in the grip. The Brazilian lifted Rose up high to inflict an ultra-violent KO slam at 2 minutes 58 seconds of the second round.
With the strawweight belt now in hand, Andrade also earned both Performance and Fight of the Night bonuses.