When a new fighter makes their debut on a big stage against a stronger or more experienced opponent who seems like they are sure to win, I kind of tend to take the side of the latter fighter.
Yet there are times when the newer fighter surprises me and astonishes me to where I want to see them fight again. So when Brazilian prospect (9-3) Jessica Andrade stepped into the octagon against former title contender Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (9-3), on the July 27 UFC on Fox fight card, I did not know what to expect.
Even though she was coming into the match with an impressive record, I have seen Carmouche use her impressive strength and grappling skills to finish opponents within the first two rounds. Even in her losses, Carmouche’s opponents did not leave the cage unscathed.
So when Andrade, whose nickname “Bate Estaca” translates to “Pile Driver” or “Battering Ram,” took Carmouche down in the first round, I almost thought the Gril-Rilla was going to be handed her second-straight loss inside of the octagon. Alas, Carmouche would rebound and score a TKO victory in the second round. Still, Andrade did enough, in my opinion, to impress the fans and UFC brass and earn another fight in the UFC.
With the time and effort the UFC is putting into their women’s bantamweight division, there will plenty of competition for Andrade in the near future. She could always end up facing the loser of the Sara McMann (7-0) vs. Sarah Kaufman (16-2) fight, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 28. Another possibility is she could face Julie “Fireball” Kedzie (16-12), who lose to the “Iron Lady” Germaine de Randamie on the same night Andrade fought Carmouche.
No matter who Andrade faces next, you can bet I will be watching.
Who would you like to see Andrade fight next? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.