Amanda Lemos (+160) vs Jessica Andrade (-190)
Lemos: DK: $7.3k | Andrade: DK:$8.9k
This is a true David vs. Goliath, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns matchup. The Goliath, the mythical monster lurking in the woods with freakish physical attributes, is Amanda Lemos. Eyewitnesses—survivors—of Amanda Lemos swear to the existence of a hideously beautiful human concoction, a quilt of flesh and bone sewn together with pieces of Amanda Nunes and Deiveson Figueiredo. Their harrowing accounts have made their rounds among MMA circles for years. Tales of powerful overhand hooks and snap kicks with both legs that would send a football sailing through the uprights well passed the NFL record sixty-six yards.
The David, small in stature but massive in heart, is Jessica Andrade. A No Vacancy sign flashes intermittently in the windows of her soul, warding off any fear that might happen her way. A Witcher, A Geralt of Riva, Jessica Andrade has many times before slain monsters and once claimed the most sought-after reward. This time around, the bounty isn’t what matters. No, this time, it’s about legacy and how far down the hall of greatness her name will echo.
Being undersized is nothing new to Jessica Andrade. It didn’t stop her from picking up and dumping Rose Namajuanas on her head and becoming the UFC Strawweight Champion. Like in almost every one of her thirty-one career MMA fights, Andrade will be at her trademark size disadvantage against Amanda Lemos.
This is essentially a striker vs. striker matchup (Andrade does have wrestling in her back pocket), and the only woman at strawweight and featherweight I wouldn’t give Jessica Andrade a shot to knockout is Valentina Shevchenko. Andrade showed a new style in her recent bouts, carrying her hands low and bobbing and weaving her way into the pocket like a tiny Mike Tyson. Once she weaves her way in, she unloads bombs with both hands. Her aggression on the feet often overwhelms fighters or breaks them down systematically over time.
When she fought Rose Namajunas for the second time, Andrade got off to a slow start but completely took over the second half of the fight. She bullied Rose with pressure and volume and busted Rose open. Rose had to survive to the final bell. Had it been a five-round main event, Andrade would’ve won that night.
Andrade is coming in off a first-round bludgeoning of Cynthia Calvio, and before fighting Shevchenko, KO’d Katlyn Chookagian in the first round with a body shot. The key for Andrade against Lemos will be movement and pressure. She has to move laterally and never let her feet set while maintaining head movement to get inside of Lemos’s long strikes. Andrade’s biggest struggles come against volume strikers, and Lemos averages six significant strikes per minute but rarely uses combinations. Using feints and making Lemos miss will open up avenues for Andrade to navigate inside the pocket and land short combos.
After Amanda Nunes’s recent loss, Amanda Lemos may be the baddest Amanda in the UFC. Pound for Pound Lemos is a top three-power striker in all of women’s MMA. She carries her hands low and throws punches from chest level, shovel hooks that travel upward from the lower peripheral. Her style is like Deiveson Figueiredo’s, using range to unload with long looping overhands. Lemos’s striking speed is a Madden 99, and the first round against Lemos will be the worst five minutes of your life.
At all costs, Jessica Andrade has to avoid the Thai clinch. Lemos has nasty knees similar to the ones Oliveira used to destroy Poirier. Lemos is hyper-aggressive in bursts and looks to cause damage in every position. The key to beating Lemos is surviving the early storm, dragging her into deep waters, and testing her suspicious cardio. Eight of Lemos’s thirteen career fights have ended in the first round, and she’s only heard the final bell three times.
Lemos is the definition of an a la carte one-punch striker; her hands break out in hives when she throws combinations. Instead of using combos, Lemos throws single shots in quick succession and can push the pace without extending exchanges in the pocket. Her right hand is a four-seam fastball, and her special move is a right-hand counter as she slides back just out of range. She also attacks up the middle with vicious snap kicks like vintage Anderson Silva KO’ing Vitor Belfort. Those snap kicks will be a major factor against the 5’2” Andrade, whose head will be teed up for a kickoff that sails out the back of the endzone. Touchback.
The value in Jessica Andrade is a late finish or decision victory while scoring high significant strikes. Lemos’s value will be in a finish within the first three rounds and also high significant strikes should the fight go the distance. At the opening, Lemos is the (+150) dog. Lemos faded late in her most recent bout against Angela Hill and had to survive to the final bell after almost finishing Hill in the first round. Andrade has the style to survive early and push the pace late. That being said, Lemos at plus money is always a good look. She can end any fight at any moment, and her reach and distance management will cause Andrade problems, especially early.
The main event-winning streak sits at two after Belal Muhammad used his Madden 99 fight IQ and excellent lateral movement and well-timed takedowns to neutralize Vicente Luque’s power. Looking at this card, the dogs are going to be barkin’ all night long. I’m feeling froggy today; Amanda Lemos via TKO, round three.
Winner: Amanda Lemos | Method: TKO Rd.3