The #6 ranked flyweight and former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, will face off with #4 ranked Lauren Murphy at UFC 283. Andrade first touched gold in 2019 when she defeated then 115lb champion Rose Namajunas before losing to Zhang Weili. She has since moved up a weight class in pursuit of a second title to add to her already accomplished legacy.
Lauren Murphy most recently had her shot at the championship in September 2021 but fell short via TKO in round four. While the fight did not go her way that night, her heart and toughness were on full display, and her stock only rose. This became even more so the case when in her return to the octagon, she picked off former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate in a clear decision victory in July.
The former champion will come into the bout as the decently sized favorite at -460 over Murphy.
- Lauren Murphy: +380
- Jessica Andrade: -460
This is one of the most interesting matchups on the card simply because both women will have to deal with the prospect of another fighter who can compete with them physically. While Andrade originally fought in the UFC at 115lbs, even 10lbs north she tends to outmuscle most of her opponents. The one exception was against the champion, Valentina Shevchenko, the one fight where we really saw Andrade outside her element.
Likewise, Lauren Murphy, although a skilled fighter in her own right, often takes advantage of a clear physical strength advantage, busting up her opponents in exchanges and completing takedowns by dragging opponents down with that last bit of added power. How the two will react to one another and who will have the edge in grappling exchanges will be interesting, to say the least.
From a technical perspective, Lauren Murphy tends to fight like a boxer on the feet, but mixes in good wrestling and jiu-jitsu to make up her ground game. Striking-wise she has a stiff, long jab and a powerful right cross, hook from the outside. Her right hook also comes cleanly over top in the clinch often. However, she does tend to leave her head on the line sometimes, depending more on her ability to block than move, which leaves her open to straight punches. She also stands heavy on the lead leg opening her up to potential low kicks from Andrade.
These low kicks will be important as Andrade will be at a 5-inch reach disadvantage. Filling that space by attacking the legs will be a good tool and it will disrupt the nice jab of Murphy if timed right. When faced with longer and more powerful punchers, Andrade has adopted a more patient approach, where she will feint and move in aggressively to draw out a strike to catch, slip or even eat before blitzing in with counters. With Murphy’s stretching punches we may see Andrade look to slip and rip to the body in order to drive Murphy back to the fence, and these openings to the mid-section could be there if Murphy’s headhunts as much as usual.
Both Murphy and Andrade have powerful takedowns, Murphy with a great double leg shot and drag downs from clinching against the cage. Level changing on Andrade may prove difficult with her shorter stature as she has such a small area she has to drop in order to sprawl for the weight class and especially powerful hips. There will likely be a good exchange of clinch grappling because Andrade also tends to do a lot of her best work when she can trap opponents against the cage first and then look to secure a leg and elevate.
On top, Murphy is dangerous from half guard where she can sit on her opponent’s leg and chip away with ground and pound, turning towards the hips to utilize body shots and a kimura threat to break the guard and continue passing. Andrade ultimately wants to get to side control where she can spread her base and make her opponent carry her weight in the crucifix. Like Murphy, Andrade is very good at investing in the body to soften up her opponents when in the top position. It is notable that while both women have very powerful top-pressure BJJ styles, Andrade owns a black belt, while Murphy has a brown belt, and Andrade also has eight career wins by submission to Murphy’s one.
Prediction and Betting Guide
One major difference in the two women’s physicalities is that Murphy’s strength is more rigid strength. She is able to bully her opponent in grueling clinch scenarios and is heavy on top but the added fluidity in Andrade’s movement translates to a greater punching power. In grappling scenarios, I do think the two will offer each other a harder go than most of their former opponents, but if she can slip, weave and blitz her way inside I think Andrade can do more damage to Murphy and break her down quicker than Murphy can her.
At -526, Andrade is a good bet to put into a parlay with another fight. As of the writing of this article, both Brandon Moreno and Deiseson Figueiredo sit at an equal -110 in the co-main event. If you’re confident in your pick, adding Andrade as a parlay will boost that -110 to +129 if she and your co-main event pick should win.
Pick: Jessica Andrade to win as a parlay boost (-460)
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.