Jessica Andrade definitely knew how to make a great impression in her return to the strawweight division in the UFC Vegas 52 main event.
The one-time 115-pound champion pulled off the first ever standing arm-triangle choke in UFC history as she tapped out Amanda Lemos at just 3:13 in the first round to cap off the card from Las Vegas. It was a jaw dropping performance from Andrade as she latched onto the submission and just kept locking it tighter and tighter until Lemos was forced to submit.
According to Andrade, it was actually a move she identified with her coaches earlier in the week and she pulled it off in spectacular fashion on Saturday night.
“My coach figured out this was something that could work and we worked on it and we worked on it,” Andrade said afterwards. Once I locked in, I said OK, I’m going to keep at it and I’m going to catch it.
“The moment I started hearing her gurgling, I thought it’s not for a takedown, this is for the submission.”
Prior to the finish, Lemos was making a strong showing for herself as she came out guns blazing with an aggressive game plan, which is typically reserved for Andrade whenever she competes. Lemos blasted Andrade with some stiff leg kicks that actually twisted the Brazilian around as she looked to find her footing in the striking exchanges.
Rather than stand on the outside against a taller fighter, Andrade eventually rushed forward to close the distance, which led to the opening where she grabbed onto the submission.
Once Andrade had the choke locked up, she just secured it even further with grabbing onto her own arm, which gave Lemos no room to escape. Finally after one last attempt to break free, Lemos tapped out and then hit the canvas after Andrade released the fight-ending submission.
Andrade has been a force of nature while competing across three different weight classes in the UFC, although she feels like strawweight is the best division for her.
Now that she’s back at 115 pounds, Andrade is determined to get back in the title hunt with hopes to become champion again one day in the near future.
“This is my division,” Andrade said. “This is where I’m going to perform my best. I know that I’m ready to fight for the title again. If you guys give me a shot, I’m going to be here. I’m going to be ready.
“It was humbling to fight for the 10th position in the ranking but if that’s what I have to do, if I have to climb back again, I’m going to do it.”