Top strawweight contender Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade looks to secure a UFC title shot with a victory in her return to the Octagon on February 4th at UFC Fight Night 104: “Bermudez vs Korean Zombie” in Houston, Texas. Andrade is expected to face Invicta FC champion Angela “Overkill” Hill.
MMARising.com confirmed plans for the rescheduled bout with multiple sources close to the fight on Saturday. Andrade and Hill were first set to meet at UFC 207 in December, but Hill was pulled from the fight due to USADA’s four-month testing requirement for returning UFC fighters.
Andrade (15-5-0) began her UFC career as an undersized bantamweight in 2013 and put together a respectable 4-3 record against formidable opposition. However, after suffering a second-round submission loss to Raquel “Rocky” Pennington in a rematch at UFC 191, Andrade, who competed at 121 pounds early in her MMA career, opted to move down to strawweight in hopes of becoming a contender in the UFC’s talent-rich division. She did just that in 2016 with dominant stoppage wins over former Invicta FC titleholder Jessica Penne and highly-touted striker Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood.
Hill (6-2-0), an experienced Muay Thai competitor, was just beginning her MMA career when she signed on to take part in The Ultimate Fighter 20 in 2014. Her run on the show ended in the opening round, and Hill went on to post a 1-2 record against fellow TUF 20 competitors in official UFC bouts. Since then, however, Hill has turned her career around under the Invicta Fighting Championships banner. Following back-to-back knockout wins for the promotion, Hill captured the Invicta FC Strawweight Championship in May, and she most recently retained her title with a five-round decision win at Invicta FC 20.
The bout between Andrade and Hill may serve as a UFC title eliminator, at least for Andrade, who has expressed an interest in challenging UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk after securing one more victory. Standing in her way is Hill, who hopes to put herself in UFC title contention by halting Andrade’s quick rise to the top of the division. UFC officials have yet to formally announce the fight, but Hill, who has resumed USADA testing, is expected to be cleared to compete on the card.
UFC Fight Night 104: “Bermudez vs Korean Zombie” takes place on February 4th at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The event is headlined by a featherweight matchup between Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and also features two additional women’s strawweight bouts pitting Alexa Grasso against Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig, and Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres against “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings.
(Photo Credit: UFC)