UFC Fight Night 117: Claudia Gadelha vs Jessica Andrade

This weekend’s main card at UFC 288 promises an exciting showdown between two of the top women’s strawweight fighters, Jessica Andrade and Yan Xiaonan.

Andrade aims to bounce back from an upset loss to rising contender Erin Blanchfield, while Xiaonan hopes to put together a strong win streak after defeating perennial contender Mackenzie Dern. With their aggressive fighting styles, fans can expect an intense bout that could go just as easily go the distance or end in a quick finish.

Watch Andrade vs. Xiaonan fight live on ESPN+ this Saturday night, as well as the Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo main event and more (order PPV now).

And don’t forget, if you’re looking to place a bet, sign up to MyBookie using our special link and you can get a sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000 for this event.

Betting Odds

Having a much deeper resume and an arguable stylistic advantage, the former champion Andrade comes in as a moderate favorite.

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Fight Breakdown

Jessica Andrade is a seasoned fighter known for her aggressive style and finishing abilities. She has a solid chin and an extremely capable gas tank, remaining a steady threat throughout the entirety of her fights. While she has fallen short against top-tier opponents like Zhang Weili and Valentina Shevchenko, Yan Xiaonan doesn’t possess the same heavy-hitting power. Xiaonan is a calculated fighter who uses her jab and leg kicks to control the pace of the fight and chew up the clock. If Andrade can close the distance and land some solid strikes, she could finish the fight quickly.

On the other hand, Xiaonan could remain composed and avoid getting caught up in brawls with Andrade. Her best chance of victory is to use her ring generalship and conditioning to keep the fight at a distance and avoid getting overwhelmed by Andrade’s aggression. Xiaonan is a busy striker, but she lacks the power to stop Andrade, so successfully keeping her at bay with her sharp jabs and leg kicks will be crucial. If Xiaonan can execute this game plan, she could earn the signature win she has been searching for in the strawweight division.

The factor that separates the two greatly in this bout, however, is the difference in their grappling. Andrade objectively is a stronger grappler and much more capable from any position than Xiaonan, so if the fight goes to the ground it’s very likely that Andrade could steal a round or finish the fight entirely. This once again means that Xiaonan’s top priority in the fight should be to keep Andrade at a distance, because if Andrade could find a clinch the fight is sure to go to the ground.

It should be noted, however, that Xiaonan survived on the ground multiple times with one of the strongest Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the sport, that being Mackenzie Dern, for five rounds. While this proves her defensive ability off of her back, Dern’s style of grappling is much more oriented in submission than ground-and-pound in comparison to Andrade, so this could still be a completely different grappling ordeal for Yan to deal with.

Prediction and Betting Guide

Overall, the oddsmakers are right to make Andrade a favorite in this bout. She has more ways to win and, if the fight ends in a finish, she’s likely getting her hand raised. The only way Xiaonan could realistically win is to keep her at bay for the full fifteen minutes with her jab to prevent Andrade from entering the pocket to win a decision, but Jessica seems far too experienced and knowledgable in her own game to let that happen. The real question is how she’s going to do it.

The likelihood for Andrade to get a flash knockout or TKO from ground-and-pound, secure a submission, or dominate to a decision is all equally likely in this bout, making it one of the harder bouts on the card to bet on. I either see her knocking Yan out on the ground or gas her out early with her pressure to score the decision win.

Bet: Andrade by KO/TKO (+225) or Andrade by decision (+215)

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