Marina Rodriguez

Marina Rodriguez is one of the most captivating strikers in the UFC strawweight division. Following a four-fight win streak over Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson, Mackenzie Dern, and Yan Xiaonan, Rodriguez fell to #3 ranked Amanda Lemos. However Rodriguez still sits at #5, and in order to get back in the win column and recharge her pursuit of a title shot she will have to get past Virna Jandiroba.

Virna Jandiroba is the #9 ranked fighter at 115lbs having last beaten Angela Hill almost a full year ago. The Brazilian is a former Invicta FC Strawweight champion, and should she want to reflect that same success on her UFC career, beating Rodriguez to get into the top 5 would be a massive step forward.

Rodriguez vs. Jandiroba is scheduled for this weekend’s UFC 288 event. Watch every fight live on ESPN+ PPV this Saturday night (order now).

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Betting Odds

Marina Rodriguez is a decent favorite at -144 opposite Jandiroba.

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Fight Breakdown

Marina Rodriguez is a talented Muay Thai-style fighter. She does her best work standing and enjoys the natural advantage of reach and height over most of the division. Her 65-inch reach will be just an inch longer than Jandiroba’s however. She is also four inches taller, allowing her to lean out of range when the two exchange. This range management skill is her primary means of defense, as she often keeps a centered posture rather than slipping and rolling shots. The downside to this is when she mounts a lot of pressure she has found herself walking onto punches and kicking herself if they are thrown down the centerline.

Her ability to lean just slightly out of range does allow for quick counters on the other hand. She has a variety of strikes to look out for including her right body kick to the left hook, the first forcing her opponent to move into the latter. She also likes to throw the right cross against the cage, then use it to frame and throw a clinch knee.

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Jandiroba should be looking to take Rodriguez down. Rodriguez makes it difficult with her range, often forcing opponents to level change from afar but Jandiroba is good at this. Often Jandiroba will shoot from outside and rise into the sprawl and double under hooks, then drive to the fence.

On the cage, she can switch to a single leg or try to swivel into a deeper body lock. Jandiroba has good jiu-jitsu, rolling for knee bars and easily using submission threats to sweep when they cannot be finished. It is notable that of her 18 career wins, 13 have been by way of submission and rear-naked chokes and armbars dominate this statistic.

Prediction and Betting Guide

For Jandiroba she has to find a way to get on the inside and take Rodriguez down. Ultimately though, I believe Rodriguez has a much higher chance of stuffing those attempts and executing her game plan.

Rodriguez has to find the balance between moving forward in order to stay off the cage and putting Jandiroba on the backfoot, while also maintaining just enough distance to make the most of her range style. I think this can frustrate Jandiroba and get her to over-commit on her way in at which point sharp knees and elbows can do their job, and ultimately mount more damage in striking exchanges for Rodriguez.

Pick: Marina Rodriguez to win (-144 odds at MyBookie)

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