UFC on ESPN 36: Andrea Lee vs. Viviane Araujo prediction, odds, preview 1

Number 9 ranked flyweight, Andrea Lee (13-5), is set to fight the number 8th ranked, Viviane Araujo (10-3).

Both women have been near the title-contending conversation for a few years now. But, both have seemingly just now entered their primes, as Lee has had her two most impressive victories to date in her last two bouts and Araujo nearly topped the number 1 contender, Katlyn Chookagian, this time last year. Knowing each has the skills to climb the flyweight division coupled with each coming into their own of recent note, reasons that this fight should be high-skilled with a lot of stakes at hand.


The close proximity of the rankings is accompanied by the close odds in this matchup, with Lee only a slight favorite at odds of -120 at BetUS.

  • Lee: -120
  • Araujo: -110

A winning bet of $100 would return $183.30 after this weekend’s fight at UFC on ESPN 36. Likewise, a successful wager on Araujo would see a return of $190.90 on the night.


Andrea Lee has fought, for the most part, top-tier flyweights throughout her UFC duration. Although she has fallen short in some of those fights, the performances she put forth resulted in said losses being close, if not, split-decision. This is important to note because Lee, having had the talent to closely contend against the top of the division for many years, has seemingly turned a corner of recent note, as she has dominated in her last two fights.

In both her most recent fights, Lee implemented a similar game plan, that is, put forth consistent pressure with a significant amount of output. This combination has been quite successful in fatiguing her opponent, and once sufficiently done, Lee has just enough power on the feet to land damaging blows. And, after the cardio is weaponized, Lee has shown an ability to get the fight to the mat from an offensive perspective, which further enhances her cardio as a major weapon coupled with making her a well-rounded, dangerous fighter.

Being an all-around fighter is also attributable to the dangerous Viviane Araujo. For her, quickness and fluidity are emphasized contrary to pressure and output. The benefit of employing this style is the ability to enter and exit out of range, while being the one that lands the quicker and more damaging strikes. This style also allows Araujo to best dictate the pace of the fight, as she can struggle, at times, with her cardio. So, being able to use footwork to keep her opponent at a safe distance while she has time to rest, and then, come forward with quickness and power, is the ideal method of attack for her.

If Araujo’s opponent is able to put on a steady pressure, thus negating her impressive fluid movement in the octagon, she has the grappling skills necessary to change the direction of the fight. Her judo background enables her to use leverage in the clinch to secure a takedown, and her natural athleticism accompanied by skill results in her having very good takedown defense if her opponent attempts to get the fight to the mat. So, as previously stated, Araujo has the all-around fight game necessary to be a legitimate contender in the octagon. The difference, between her and Lee, is that Araujo lacks strong cardio but does have an impressive blend of quickness, fluidity, and power.


The odds being a pick’em suggests this fight is quite close. I cannot, and will not, suggest that the fight will be lopsided in either direction, however, I do believe the stylistic advantage is in Lee’s favor. My reasoning for this is she does a very good job weaponizing cardio in the octagon; and, knowing Araujo’s gas tank has shown to deplete as the fight ensues, I believe Lee will separate herself from the talented Brazilian as each minute ends. So, I expect the fight to be close early given each is well-rounded and very talented, but ultimately, I expect Lee’s pressure will supersede the quickness and power of Araujo.

Bet: Lee by Decision

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