Jessica Andrade impressed tonight at UFC Fight Night 117 as she withstood an early onslaught from Claudia Gadelha and then seized control of the hard-fought battle from that point forward, outstriking and outgrappling the division’s No.1 contender.
Gadelha with an early front kick to the body. Now nice right and left hooks for Gadelha. Now both ladies are exchanging as the action heats up in the first round.
Again it’s Gadelha who is first off with her punches and she cracks Andrade with a series of hooks. Unusual to see Andrade being so patient with her own strikes.
Gadelha now unloading on Andrade with punches from the clinch and Andrade is already shedding blood high on her forehead. She tries for a takedown for the first time, but Andrade shakes it off.
Now it’s Andrade’s turn to get int the clinch and look for a takedown. She tries to hoist Gadelha into the air, but her opponent counters with a guillotine choke attempt. Andrade responds by slamming her to the mat, but Gadelha flips over, yet still somehow keeps hold of the choke.
The blood from Andrade’s head helps her slip free of the choke and she ends up on top, landing some good ground and pound in the final minute of the round. A good competitive first round there!
Gadelha still sporting some blood herself near her left eye as the round begins. Both ladies exchange hooks and then Gadelha lands a good takedown.
Andrade scrambles back up to her feet and presses Gadelha against the cage. Gadelha breaks free and lands a knee to the body as she does so.
Gadelha times a nice takedown attempt, but Andrade does well to stuff it and she muscles her opponent to the mat. Andrade in half guard, but Gadelha manages to get to her feet. Andrade lands a few solid kenes as she does so though.
Andrade firing off with big punches and knees and Gadelha lands a counter-punch. Gadelha bloodied up though.
Now Andrade is really teeing off on Gadelha and wearing her down with a relentless assault of punches and chopping leg kicks. Gadelha wilting her which is unusual for her.
Gadelha does land a nice counter, but Andrade is unphased and continues marching forward, unleashing another series of left and right hands.
Andrade picks Gadelha up for another takedown and immediately Gadelha hops up for a guillotine choke attempt. It looks tight, but Andrade just stands and counts down the final seconds of the round.
This has become an exhausting battle, but after Gadelha’s early success in the first round, it’s Andrade who had the much better of the second round and looks the fresher of the two.
An early exchange of punches. Andrade connects with a couple of shots to the chin. Gadelha into the clinch, but Andrade muscles her over to the cage.
Big knee to the body from Andrade. Then she lands a huge takedown. She begins to work on body shots from quarter guard. Good cardio from Andrade here as she works more punches and stays active in the third round of an already gruelling fight.
Gadelha now brings Andrade back to her full guard, but Andrade is still continuing to land ground and pound. Gadelha lacking in ideas as to how to get back to her feet.
More punches for Andrade, then sweeps her opponent’s legs to one side and gets to side control. Gadelha fights her way back to her knees and tries to stand, but Andrade stays heavy on her.
Andrade chipping away with punches, but Gadelha does manage to stand against the cage. She tries for a guillotine, but Andrade defends and presses her against the cage.
Final 10 seconds and Andrade is able to secure one final big takedown to seal what should be a convincing win on the scorecards.
The judges confirm it, Jessica Andrade secures a well-deserved unanimous decision victory (30-25, 30-26, 30-27) and the biggest win of her career so far.