Former UFC Women’s Strawweight World Champion Jessica Andrade makes the move up the 125 pound limit of Flyweight for her next fight opposite division gatekeeper, Katlyn Chookagian.
This will be on the main card of the October 17th event that precedes UFC 254 Korean Zombie vs Brian Ortega. That fight isn’t getting enough hype!
I hate that they put it the week before Khabib vs Gaethje. It’s already hard enough to get the press more than a week out from your fight unless you’re in a pay per view event.
I like this week’s action.
The main event of Cory Sandhagen vs Marlon Moraes is a pivotal top-five matchup in the talent-rich Bantamweight Division.
Next week’s fights are just better, though. Rising stars Ciryl Gane, Jimmy Crute, and Said Nurmagomedov will all be competing as favorites on October 17th.
Katlyn Chookagian has only been finished once in her entire amateur and pro careers, respectively.
That came a couple of fights ago when she showed a ton of heart as she was finished from the crucifix or beatdown position as I call it in MMA. It is a rough way to go.
Someone has both your arms 99% trapped, they‘re sitting on your chest and raining down hopefully primarily punches but the elbows are coming too.
You have to fight to get out of there but once you’re in, it’s about 99-1 if the person on top doesn’t screw up. This is where we find the men and women who are uncommon amongst the uncommon.
That’s a little David Goggins for ya. Don’t worry. I’m not going to employ you to run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours or try to set a new pull-up record.
When you are virtually stuck and taking serious damage to your brain and face and you know the more still you are, the quicker the ref will stop the fight.
Heck, just shut your eyes and go limp. Herb Dean will jump in.
Or, you could make every attempt to simply keep squirming. Even though you are 99% sure it is completely futile and you’re only getting brain damage, broken nose, etc., you do your very best to keep squirming.
Maybe your opponent will tire. Maybe they are about to throw an illegal strike that would get you out of the position. Maybe the round is close to ending.
Katlyn Chookagian, for a fighter who relies primarily on points to win her bouts, surprised me with the heart she showed against the champ.
Other than that fight, she has 2 split decision losses, once to Jessica Eye-a bad matchup for her because Katlyn is used to being the longer taller boxer and she wasn’t against Evil Eye.
The other loss was to Liz Carmouche, a bad matchup for just about anybody not named Valentina Shevchenko.
Let’s move on to some of the measurables. There is one discrepancy that will blow you away, though. You may already know what it is but read up.
|Jessica Andrade||Katlyn Chookagian|
|Fight Record: 20-8||Fight Record: 14-3|
|Age: 29||Age: 31|
|Height: 5’1”||Height: 5’9”|
|Reach: 62”||Reach: 69”|
|Stance: Orthodox||Stance: Orthodox|
|Average Fight Time: N/A||Average Fight Time: N/A|
|From: Umuamara, Brazil||From: Quakertown, Pennsylvania|
|Fight Camp: Parana Vale Tudo||Fight Camp: AllStar BJJ|
That reach differential is pretty gnarly but the height, my gracious! It is not often AT ALL that we get to see an 8-inch differential in height.
Maybe in the UFC’s Heavyweight Division, we have seen something like this. Where you at, Stefan Struve?!
Mark Hunt and Pat Berry, 5’10” and 5’11”, both fought The Skyscraper. Hunt put him out with a big shot but Berry fell victim to a triangle with those long legs.
I don’t believe we have ever seen this before in the women’s divisions, though.
Jessica actually used to fight up at 135 pounds as crazy as that sounds standing at just 5’1″ tall. She did fight Raquel Pennington twice. The two women split those fights. Raquel is just 5’7”, though. She is definitely thicker than the 5’9” Chookagian.
Katlyn also fought at Bantamweight in the past.
She beat Irene Aldana who just fought Holly Holm in last Saturday’s main event. The Mexican fighter didn’t look good in that one. Holm literally danced circles around her. It was still a nice win for Chook because Irene is an even bigger woman than her.
Jessica started her UFC career at 135 then dropped to 115. That’s wild. It’s when she did it that raises the ol’ peoples’ eyebrow.
USADA is the United States Anti Doping Agency. The UFC knew they had a major problem with performance-enhancing drugs. I would say easily more than half of UFC fighters were on something at the time.
It was 2015 when they came in and that’s exactly the time Jessica and her team thought it would be a good idea to drop not one but two weight classes. Smart move, in my opinion.
She knew she was going to lose some muscle and made the right call. Hey, she won a world title so it worked out. She won the UFC Strawweight World Title by defeating Thug Rose Namajunas.
Rose was controlling the fight with her superior length and boxing skill but Jessica always seems to find her way in on these taller fighters.
Bata Estaca was threatening the takedown when Rose committed both of her arms to a kimura attempt. This prevented her from being able to break her fall or even defend it early while she’s getting lifted.
Jessica skyed and slammed her on the back of her head and neck with ferocity and the fight was over just like that.
In her first title defense against China’s Weili Zhang, though, Jess was out-gunned by another stocky striker.
Zhang was just too good and too fast. She got the Brazilian out of there early in the first and we had our first Chinese World Champion in the UFC.
This was a devastating loss for the still very young Brazilian at just 28-years-old.
Next was Thug Rose and even though Jessica left Rose lifeless on the mat in their first meeting, the betting line closed with Namajunas at (-250) and Andrade at (+170).
Jessica used much more head movement in this fight kinda side to side like Mike Tyson. That is going to help her get on the inside and when she does, her big hooks are already loaded and ready to fire.
Andrade won the 3rd and final round as she bloodied Rose’s nose, took her down, and controlled her.
The first round was next to nothing from both ladies and one judge gave it to Andrade and we had ourselves a split decision. Either way, though, that is two straight losses for the Brazilian. This is what prompted the move to 125.
That could very well be her sweet spot but she has a difficult matchup in her first fight.
Katlyn Chookagian is a master of range fighting. She was hanging with Valentina somewhat before Shev kept taking her down.
She showed us a new wrinkle in her MMA game in her last fight when she fought Valentina’s sister, Antonina Shevchenko. Two sisters back to back.
It was good that she fought Valentina first, though, because she put a whipping on Nina. Payback from younger sister could have been even worse than what she got.
It was how she beat Nina that surprised everyone. Katlyn has been a jab and straight right fighter from range almost exclusively.
It was working on 80% of her opponents so why change? Because sometimes you have another tall talented striker like Antonina standing across from you.
Chook remembered how Roxanne Modafferi defeated Nina and that was to take her down and beat her up. Her wrestling was her weakest link.
I don’t think we are going to see Katlyn diving in on the legs of Jessica or even fishing for those underhooks. She has so far down to go. I take that back. She will need those underhooks or at least one of them.
The double collar tie or Thai plum is quite risky against someone who can sky/slam with the best of them.
Physics and history tell us that even if you are a superior wrestler, it is nearly impossible to lift someone off the ground who is that much taller than you.
Their feet just stay on the floor.
DC was in DEEP on those legs but it didn’t matter. He is 5’11” and Jon is 6’4” so only 5 inches at a taller height so nowhere near the difference we have in this fight.
Jon does have extra long legs, though, and a very good wrestler himself but that was 90% physics, in my opinion.
If any fighter can bridge that gap in height to somehow sky their opponent in the air and down to the mat, it is Jessica.
I think it will be very hard for Jess to win the first round. Katlyn Chookagian will likely find her range quicker than Andrade locates her’s.
It’s just a 3 round fight too so the live betting line would be at (-250) or more for Chook at that point and we would be kicking ourselves for not getting her where she is now as the underdog.
Yes, the fighter who is a master of range and 8 inches taller is the dog. That is a lot of respect for Jessica Andrade!
Bate Estaca will have more power not having to cut those extra ten pounds.
Athletes generally level up in their performances when they go up in weight. The problem is they are fighting someone who is probably bigger.
Katlyn is way bigger. I love the fact that she had John Danaher in her corner before.
If you don’t know who Danaher is, he is a BJJ genius and leader of the Danaher Death Squad of Renzo Gracie BJJ Blackbelts training out of New York City.
He trained Georges St Pierre and is partly responsible for all of the leg lock craze in today’s competitive grappling world.
So, I feel confident in Katlyn’s abilities to either get back to her feet or possibly grab a leg against Jessica on the mat, should the fight get to that point.
I don’t think it will, though. Chook also has a great lead leg head kick and Jessica being so much shorter and likely fighting in that range… She slips all those punches too. Heck, she slips punches that you don’t even throw.
I think Katlyn is going to kick her head off. Andrade is tough, though, and maybe she takes it and gets the takedown off of it, comes back to life in her guard, and proceeds to beat the snot out of Chookagian.
It’s possible. That girl is always dangerous.
I think it is a very bad matchup for her, though, against Chookagian here.
We are getting plus money too. All day, baby.
Looking at Chookagian’s record, she has been taken down by several of her opponents.
Jessica Andrade does have a 57% takedown accuracy rate which is outstanding especially when you consider she averages 3 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Andrade is still very young despite her extensive experience inside the Octagon. She hasn’t improved her skills from fight to fight, though, as Katlyn has.
“Blonde Fighter” began her career not making a lot of fans as she punched more air than she did opponents but she got just a little bit better each fight.
I give 100% of the intelligence edge to Katlyn here and her coaches are far more knowledgeable than Jessica’s handlers.
Katlyn opened up at (+160) which is ridiculous but we don’t have to pass just because we missed that boat.
It was a good looking boat, don’t get me wrong but this one named (+115) is pretty also, and still carries tons of value.