With each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to seeing the completion of the UFC 300 card. Today, we learned of the 11th fight that has been added to the historic card. The promotion announced earlier today that former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade (25-12) will be taking on fellow Brazilian Marina Rodriguez (17-3-2).
Starting with Rodriguez, she will be looking for her second straight win. The last time we saw Rodriguez, she was taking on Michelle Waterson-Gomez and completely dominated The Karate Hottie on her way to a second round finish. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Rodriguez.
In 2022, many thought that Rodriguez had done enough to earn a title shot. She had won four straight fights including against Yan Xiaonan who challenges for the strawweight title at UFC 300 against Zhang Weili. However, the promotion wanted her to get one more win and she lost to Amanda Lemos.
Now, she’ll step in there with a former champ in Andrade. It would be huge for her in terms of the title picture if she’s able to get back on the winning path.
2023 was a very up and down year for Jessica Andrade. The former champion made the walk five times throughout the year. Entering 2023, she was coming off first round finishes of Cynthia Calvillo at flyweight and Amanda Lemos at strawweight. She was being looked at as a title challenger in either weight class.
Then, she completely dominated former flyweight title challenger Lauren Murphy. However, Andrade made a mistake regarding her next fight in my opinion. She took a short notice fight against top UFC flyweight contender Erin Blanchfield. Blanchfield dominated the fight and submitted Andrade.
Then, Andrade moved back down to 115 to take on Yan Xiaonan. She didn’t look sharp in that fight and was knocked out in the first round. From there, she took on Tatiana Suarez and again got finished. She went from title contention in two weight classes to three straight losses all by finish.
That said, she had one more opportunity at UFC 295 against Mackenzie Dern. Andrade dominated that fight and scored a TKO win. It was a huge bounce back win for her and now she gets a big time fight on the historic card in April.