Jéssica Andrade, Syuri Kondo Score Big Wins At UFC Fight Night 117Top strawweight contender Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade made a strong case for another shot at UFC gold with a dominant Unanimous Decision win tonight at UFC Fight Night 117: “St. Preux vs Okami” in Saitama, Japan. Andrade dismantled Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha in the co-main event.

Gadelha, who also previously challenged unsuccessfully for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship, got off to a strong start in round one, but she was soundly beaten on the feet and on the ground as the bout progressed. Also tonight, Syuri Kondo edged out Chanmi “Ottogi Girl” Jeon.


Andrade (17-6-0) was her usual aggressive self on the feet in round one, but Gadelha (15-3-0) countered her winging punches with crisp right hands and combinations. She followed with a hard left hook and punched her way free of an Andrade clinch attempt. Andrade sustained a bad cut on her forehead, but she closed the distance and tried to slam Gadelha to the mat. Gadelha attempted a guillotine choke, but a bloodied Andrade slipped out and she spent the remainder of the round landing punches and elbows from Gadelha’s half-guard.

Gadelha opened round two with a takedown into back control, but Andrade scrambled up to her feet and escaped from Gadelha’s grasp. She took Gadelha down soon after and battered her with punches and elbows that opened a deep gash beside Gadelha’s left eye. Back on the feet, Gadelha noticeably slowed down and Andrade began to tee off with heavy combinations of left and right hooks. A dazed Gadelha tried for a sloppy takedown and ate a series of knees for her efforts. She rallied with a flying guillotine choke late in the round, but Andrade held on until the bell.

Andrade stuffed a takedown and slammed Gadelha down to the canvas in the final round. She punished Gadelha with punches and elbows from the top until Gadelha was finally able to escape to her feet with one minute remaining. Andrade landed knees to the body and took Gadelha’s back, but Gadelha turned into the clinch and tried for one last guillotine choke. Andrade picked Gadelha up and dumped her to the mat just before time expired.

The judges returned scores of 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27 for Andrade, whose clear-cut Unanimous Decision victory will likely earn her a shot at the winner of the upcoming UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship bout between Joanna Jędrzejczyk and “Thug” Rose Namajunas. She has won four of her past five fights, with the lone defeat coming against Jędrzejczyk in May. Tonight’s Andrade-Gadelha battle earned Fight of the Night honours, with each woman taking home a $50,000 bonus.

Winner: Jéssica Andrade by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27) after three rounds. She improves to 17-6-0.


Strawweight Queen of Pancrase champion Kondo (6-0-0) also impressed in her long-awaited UFC debut tonight, as she outpointed Jeon (5-2-0) in a competitive and entertaining bout on the preliminary card.

Kondo established her jab early in the opening round and she used jab-cross combos to stifle Jeon’s offence. Straight right hands landed for Kondo and Jeon responded by shouting and firing off a series of kicks. Kondo continued to find success with quick combinations, but Jeon answered back with step-in knees and looping hooks in the final minute. The round ended with Kondo landing knees to the body.

The fighters traded kick-punch combos in the second round and Kondo rocked Jeon with a right hook. Jeon recovered and both women landed big punches on the feet. Kondo bloodied Jeon’s nose with stiff jabs and she mixed in kicks to the body that kept the South Korean fighter guessing. Kondo picked up the pace and landed more punches late in the round, but missed with a wild spinning backfist.

Kondo maintained a boxing-centred attack in round three while Jeon threw kicks and occasional knees in addition to her combinations. Kondo walked her down with punches and Jeon targeted her midsection with knees and two kicks. With 40 seconds to go, Kondo attacked with overhand punches and a spinning back kick to the body, and the fight ended with both women throwing punches.

One judge saw the fight 29-28 in favour of Jeon, while the remaining two both had it 30-27 in favour of Kondo, who kept her perfect professional record intact with the Split Decision victory. The former pro wrestling star and Krush kickboxing champion took a step toward one day achieving her goal of competing for a UFC world title with tonight’s win.

Winner: Syuri Kondo by Split Decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 6-0-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)