Jessica Andrade will make her UFC debut against Liz Carmouche at UFC on Fox 8 Saturday.
The match will mark the first time two openly gay fighters have faced off in the Octagon. But Carmouche is no stranger to making history in the UFC. In February, she and Ronda Rousey competed in the promotion’s first-ever women’s match. While Carmouche (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) defended herself nicely against Rousey, even managing to nearly choke her out with a neck crank, she lost the match by armbar submission at 4:49 in the first round.
Andrade (9-2 MMA), however, isn’t fazed.
“Everything I do ends up reflecting on the (gay) community, but it’s not something I’ll hide,” the 21-year-old Brazilian told MMA Junkie. “It is what it is. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I’ll keep on doing (what I’m doing).”
The bout will mark Andrade’s first time fighting in the United States. “Bate Estaca” or “Pile Driver” said that, generally, she hasn’t had any problems due to her sexual preference.
“The fight community as a whole in Brazil is very supportive,” she said. “All the fighters respect my sexual orientation There was only one instance where I did an interview and some people in the forums said some stuff. But it wasn’t anything compared to how the whole community deals with it.”
Andrade said that fighting Carmouche will be different from her previous fights, but said that she has faced tough matches before.
“I just came from a fight in Russia, where I fought the best girl they have there,” Andrade said. “I’ve fought a former boxing champion. I’ve fought bigger girls, too. I’ve been training a lot, and hopefully everything goes all right as planned.”
If her previous matches are any indication, Andrade could be looking to submit Carmouche by either guillotine or rear-naked choke, having finished five of her fights — including her two most recent consecutive wins — with one or the other. She has never been submitted.
UFC on Fox 8 will take place Saturday at the KeyArena in Seattle.
What do you think of the match between Jessica Andrade and Liz Carmouche?