This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 69, we saw a flyweight matchup between two of the best in the world. Former flyweight title challenger and strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (24-10) took on the division’s top prospect Erin Blanchfield (11-1).
Andrade was coming off a brutal win against Lauren Murphy last month and took this fight on one-week’s notice. Taila Santos was supposed to face off against Blanchfield but due to her corner’s visa issues, she pulled out of the fight.
Andrade took this fight and was hoping for another win to further her case for another title shot. However, it was evident from the opening minutes that she might’ve overlooked how tough Blanchfield was. Blanchfield was controlling the majority of the first round with her striking.
Andrade started to come alive near the end of the first, but Blanchfield was landing clean. In the second, Blanchfield timed a takedown beautifully and got the back of Andrade. It wasn’t long before she locked up a choke and submitted the former UFC champion.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 69?
After this fight, Jessica Andrade made it clear that she’s returning to the strawweight division. This is the division where she belonged the entire time, but she’s bounced back and forth between divisions for her last few fights.
Her last fight at strawweight was a main event last year against Amanda Lemos where she scored a first-round finish. Andrade was hoping that a win over Blanchfield would lock her in to be the next challenger for Zhang Weili’s strawweight title.
The question is, did this loss to Blanchfield ruin that for the former UFC champ? Personally, I don’t think so. The next viable contender at 115 pounds for Weili is Amanda Lemos who again was just finished last year by Jessica Andrade. Despite this loss, I still think Andrade is the most viable contender at 115 right now.