The newly-dethroned former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade has released a lengthy statement in the wake of her first-round TKO defeat to Weili Zhang.
And it truly was one of the most impressive title-winning victories we have seen inside the octagon in some time.
Those in-the-know were perhaps not surprised to see the Chinese strawweight’s hand raised at the end of it all but for her to manage to get the famously durable Brazilian out of there in under a minute was nothing short of astonishing.
IT IS ALL OVER!! 😱
Weili Zhang is the real deal!
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) August 31, 2019
Andrade, who won the title with an incredibly odd and unique victory by slam TKO against Rose Namajunas, has been seen as one of the pound-for-pound strongest fighters in the sport and yet, when the time came to throw down with Zhang in the UFC Shenzhen main-event, it really did appear as though the challenger had the edge in strength.
Taking to her official social media channels, Bate Estaca published a lengthy statement to her fans in the wake of this latest setback.
“I was waiting for a moment of calm to write to you. I want to thank all my real fans and friends for the support. I’m not sad, we did everything right, I was very well trained and focused, it was one of the fights that I was the most prepared for, but unfortunately Zhang’s hand landed first and I went down, and then it came a series of elbows that I went out and tried to recover, but a knee came right after, so it was impossible to continue. I don’t feel embarrassed because that happens to all fighters one day. It happened to Aldo, to Joanna, to Cyborg, to Anderson Silva, to Junior ‘Cigano’.
“Anyway, my master Gilliard Parana and my entire team PRVT did a good job. We have nothing to say or fix, or at least think that we could have done better, because we did the best. What would a winning streak be if it wasn’t for the bitter taste of defeat? A champion isn’t made of wins only. It wasn’t my first loss and it certainly won’t be the last. I know how to deal well with all this, this landslide of critics and absurds that the Brazilians are saying. I just want to leave one message for the critics: NO ONE ENTERS THAT OCTAGON TO LOSE but the career I chose has these things. We’ll come back stronger.
“It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a restart. I have a solid career with 27 fights, I was the first Brazilian to fight in the UFC Octagon, I’m a veteran in the promotion and in women’s MMA. I became the No. 1 (ranked) in the world now because above me there’s only the champion Weili Zhang, who fought really well! And deserves the title. We continue at the top because there’s our place, and life gores on!
“I have incredible people by my side. I can’t wait to get back home to rest, stay with friends and family, because those who truly know me know that these last months weren’t easy. I had eight tireless months of work, but it was all worth it. Today I sleep well because I know my work was well done. I gave happiness to the Brazilian country and I have nothing to be ashamed about.”
Speaking to the media in the wake of her incredible victory, the new champion of the 115lb division Weili Zhang spoke about her desire to headline a major event in her home-country in the near future.
“I think they all want to fight me because I’m a champion. I can defend several times, maybe for a long time, because I know all my opponents very well. I can beat them.”
“Yes, I would like to get on a pay-per-view event, but I also want a pay-per-view event to hold in China. This is my wish. If Dana wants me to fight in the U.S. it will be fine, but please get all my corners a visa because last time my corners didn’t come. Several corners could not come because of a visa issue.”
On top of that, Zhang appeared to be open to taking on the sitting women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko in a cross-divisional super-fight.