Jessica Andrade: From Beating Up a Drug Dealer, To Dropping People On Their Heads in MMA



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I couldn’t have imagined how one fight would destroy me completely.


I took many blows, but the physical damage was nothing compared to what the defeat did to my mind.


Before stepping foot into the octagon for the first time, nobody has a clue what it means to fight in the UFC. I remember the scene so well: Back in 2013, my coach pulled me aside to give me the news that the UFC wanted me. He was so exasperated that it seemed like someone had died.


Then he asked me if I would like to face Liz Carmouche, and my first reaction was, “Oh my God! I’m in the UFC!!! How did they even manage to find someone who came all the way from the countryside — from the backwoods of Paraná?”

It’s crazy how the best news of your life can turn so quickly into the biggest disappointment. The truth is that I was not mentally prepared to lose that fight right out of the gate.


It just crushed me.


I just thought … You’ve trained so much … for this, Jessica?


That’s how I blamed myself, how I insisted on punishing myself for the failure. I was done, because I felt like I was back to square one — back to just being “Jessica from the drugstore.”


You see, where I’m from, fighting is simply not a “girl’s thing.”


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