It seemed obligatory for UFC to schedule a female bout just five days short of the widely anticipated UFC 184 between Rousey and Zingano.
In Brazil, there is an excellent supply of martial artists, male and female, young and old. Jéssica Andrade, from Umuaram, Brazil is notable from such a large talent pool for a number of reason. Brazil is comparatively liberated in their sexual ideals, however their society still very much ‘machismo’. This means that a woman will struggle far harder to achieve success in any male dominant areas. Andrade is not only an extremely competent professional female MMA fighter, ranked 9th in the world, she won her first professional fight as a mere teenager (19 days short of her 20th birthday) in her home country Brazil. Currently at the tender age of 23 she had already 15 professional fights to her name once packing a whopping 7 professional fights in 2012. Andrade is also known for her infamous fight with Liz Carmouche in July 2013, often referred to as the first match in UFC history between two openly gay fighters. Andrade, in fighting, is defying her role as a woman in her society.
Andrade is scheduled to fight the American Californian Marion Reneau in Porto Alegre today at UFC Fight Night 61. Reneau provides a good contrast to her opponent Andrade. She had her first professional fight 18 months prior to Andrade’s first and nearly 5 years since Reneau had only managed 5 more fights including her debut UFC fight a meagre 51 days prior to UFC Fight Night 61. Reneau is a single parent aged 37 going onto 38 who got into MMA fighting to save up extra money for her son’s college education. Reneau, in fighting, is performing the traditional role of a man supporting his family in her society.
Both of them are on a winning streak – Andrade had won 3 fights since facing Liz Carmouche and Reneau had won her last 4 professional fights. Both fighters are equally competent in striking and grappling. Andrade has a record of equal numbers of wins via TKO and Submission; Reneau had 3 out of her 5 wins via striking at the same time holds the title of IBJJF World Purple Belt Champion. While Andrade is younger and more experience, Reneau who just finished a fight on a very strong win will go into the next in high spirits and good form.
Andrade is mostly considered the favourite possibly due to her advantage in age but more likely her impressive record of fight bouts and track record of wins. A loss to her will however, only be a temporary setback which given her resilience and age she will no doubt recover and continue on her mission to achieve a title. A loss to Reneau, on the other hand, may mean a big blow to her MMA career and the loss of a chance of college education for her child.
When a fight is evenly match and both fighters performs equally well in the first two rounds, at the final round when the fighters are exhausted the win is often simply earned by the person who wants the win more urgently than his opponent. In this instant, Andrade vs Reneau, it may come down to who is more desperate to not exit a loser.