A women’s strawweight bout between former champion Jessica Andrade and Amanda Lemos is set to headline this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas.
Andrade will enter the fight after most recently defeating Cynthia Calvillo by TKO in September last year. Lemos has won all five of her last bouts in the UFC with her latest victory coming in December when she defeated Angela Hill by split decision.
Read on for our full Andrade vs. Lemos staff predictions before Saturday night’s fight as well as the latest betting odds before UFC Fight Night 205. You can read all of our other UFC predictions here.
Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade will enter this weekend’s main event as the betting favorite against Amanda Lemos.
- Lemos: +180
- Andrade: -220
In this fight, we get two powerhouses in the division. Jessica Andrade has long been known for her bullying style and holding a particularly special level of punching power even within women’s MMA as a whole. However, if there is anyone to challenge her dominance in this aspect, it is Amanda Lemos. Yet, the two utilize their power differently. Andrade at 5 ft 2, favors a low stance, and she looks to walk her opponent down with a high guard and bob and weave her way into her combinations. She heavily dominates with hooks and is great at burst forward and cutting off the exit angle with those wide hooks depending on which way she directs her opponent off of the fence. She does tend to drop her hands after major power shots, but between her head movement and forcing her opponents to cover up she rarely pays for it.
Amanda Lemos is a more patient striker, she doesn’t chase or march her opponent down as much as Andrade, and instead very technically sets things up from the outside. She stands tall to make the best use of her range with a reach of 65 inches, three more than Andrade in this case. She utilizes more kicks than Andrade and will switch stance to get use of both the right and left body kick, but the power in her hands is also special. Her rear uppercut to lead hook is one of her best aside from her very crisp jab-cross.
In terms of grappling, I give the edge to Andrade, she is a BJJ black belt, and she can often get to the mat with dominant wrestling, especially deep shots along the fence and finishing with high crotch slams. On the mat, she probably wants to get to half guard where she bares over opponents and makes them carry her weight, either using hip pressure to posture enough to land or transitioning in and out of scarf hold to also land hooks. She is also known for consistently investing in body shots even on the ground. Lemos also has a solid grappling game but not at the level of Andrade, and it’s mostly defensive, winning head positions in the clinch and breaking free. She has nasty ground and pound as well, with vicious elbows but I don’t believe she can consistently win the grappling exchanges to establish such positions over Andrade.
I lean towards Andrade in this fight for two reasons. Standing they both pose an equal threat, but Andrade’s ability to pour on constant pressure forward even when she isn’t throwing will help her dominate control of the center cage. This helps drastically to minimize Lemos’ reach because Andrade can trap her against the fence. From there I think that even if it’s extremely competitive, Andrade has the added benefit of wrestling as a plan B, Lemos also has the ability to mix in her takedowns and clinch but ultimately I think more than not, Andrade wins that battle.
Prediction: Jessica Andrade to win
Lemos and Andrade are both exciting fighters with rare show-stopping power, especially for the strawweight division. Combined, these two have 25 finishes in 33 professional fights, 16 of those finishes have been knockouts.
Lemos, despite only being 5’4, is long for the division. Her arms and legs provide her with a significant reach advantage in most fights. She typically uses that reach advantage to kickbox at range. Her striking arsenal is varied in type and consistent in power. She is able to land heavy shots from odd angles with speed, precision, and violence. Typically, Lemos prefers to counter-strike. Often, her approach is to move laterally on the outside of the octagon from a southpaw stance and look to counter her opponent who tries to crash distance. Then, after landing a counter combination, Lemos is comfortable in the clinch where she can hold a tight Muay Thai grip and use her knees as up the middle weapons. From here, Lemos again lets her opponent lead the dance while she fluidly responds. If her opponent has better position in the clinch, Lemos is able to disengage safely, land a long jab or front kick to create distance, and get back on her bike. If she has the advantageous position, Lemos is capable of transitioning from clinch to a takedown where she looks to land on top and inflict heavy ground and pound. The positives in her game, power, intelligent countering, and strength, make her a dangerous matchup. The negatives in her game, though, can make her a dangerous bet. Lemos’ power and lateral movement come at a cost, her cardio is unreliable and can cause her to make costly mistakes. Further, her counter heavy style can result in a lower volume approach that allows for pressure heavy fighter to win rounds.
Speaking of pressure heavy fighters, few are more pressure heavy than the once flyweight, now strawweight, Andrade. After reaching the top of the flyweight mountain, only to be toppled, like so many others, by Shevchenko, Andrade is moving down to strawweight where her 5’2 height is less of a disadvantage and her power should be even more evident. Andrade is elite at closing the distance to set up her preferred phone booth fight. Once in tight, Andrade looks to land heavy boxing combinations to the liver and chin of her opponent. Then, she’ll either look for the takedown, which often comes in form of a slam or to separate and re-enter with more aggression. Andrade’s takedown slam knockout of Namajunas went viral; but, her ability is not a fluke. Andrade is a strong wrestler who is able to impressively use a takedown not only as a technique but also as an attack. So long as the weight cut does not negatively impact her cardio and chin, Andrade’s power, boxing, wrestling, and experience pose a dangerous threat to anyone in the division.
This fight is fascinating because neither fighter has fought, and beat, another competitor who can match their power. But, in this fight, the power is equal; both women can end the fight in an instant. For Lemos to win, she’ll need to control her cardio more effectively. For Andrade to win, she’ll need to overcome the size disparity and use her aggression intelligently. I think it could go either way; so, in a fight that is razor-thin, I like the underdog money.
Prediction: Lemos by KO/TKO
Amanda Lemos is an under-ranked and underappreciated fighter in the deep strawweight division. The reasoning for this is she possesses power that is perhaps one of, if not, the best throughout the division. Moreover, this power, which lands at an impressive clip, is thrown with technical quickness and straight down the barrel action which allows her to have great success on the feet. This success is often short-lived in the best of ways, as she comes out fast and heavy, having won 6 of her 7 TKO/KO finishes in the first round.
The somewhat unique ability to finish the fight quickly on the feet does subtly bring forth the largest issue she has as a fighter – cardio. More specifically, given she head-hunts early and throws with significant power if the fight gets out of the first round, Lemos has shown to fade as the fight ensues, particularly with transitioning away from an aggressive mentality to becoming a counter-puncher as a tactic to combat cardio depletion. This transition nearly cost her in her most recent bout against Angela Hill, as she significantly slowed which enabled Hill to nearly win the fight from a decision standpoint – many in the community scored it for Hill. So, Lemos, having elite power early in the fight with a comfortable-enough ground game, will need to show better management of cardio in this 5-round affair for her to have the best chance of winning and entering title-contending status.
Jessica Andrade is perhaps one of the most battle-tested women in the UFC, as she has fought just about every elite fighter in the strawweight and flyweight division. This experience, coupled with having elite well-rounded attributes as a fighter – 7 of her 22 wins are by submission; 9 of her 22 wins are by TKO/KO – explains why she has been ranked at the top of each division for a significant amount of years, albeit she is still only 30 years old.
On the feet, Andrade cannot help but resemble Amanda Nunes in style. What I mean by this is she throws a massive overhand right followed by a powerful left hook to either the head or body. This combination is thrown frequently and with consistent intent on ending the fight, as she, similar to Lemos, has elite knockout power.
The rationale for fight-ending strikes differs for Andrade as it does Lemos, as Andrade can confidently throw looping punches given she has elite hand speed to land said punches coupled with her knowing a looping punch opens up the window for her to seamlessly transition to grappling – somewhat surprisingly, she averages 2.9 takedowns per 15 minutes. Chaining striking into grappling and vice versa is a dangerous combination to possess; and for Andrade specifically, her chain of elite power with an arsenal of attacks on the mat makes her truly elite. The only question looming for Andrade is the weight cut back down to the strawweight division knowing cutting that amount of weight may result in a chin issue; but, knowing she has successfully fought in this division for many years, this question is quite minimal.
Both women possess the fight-ending power on their feet to finish the fight quite quickly. Although the case, I anticipate Lemos worrying about her cardio from the moment the fight starts; consequently, she will likely stay content playing the counter-striking game against the aggressive Andrade. This projected game plan of Lemos will likely prove ineffective given it allows Andrade the dictate the pace, range, and location of the fight for however long it lasts. As such, I am confidently backing Andrade given her question marks are far less than Lemos, and, she has a much larger arsenal of skills than the challenger.
Bet: Andrade ITD
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.