Lupita Godinez will get a chance to enter the UFC’s top 15 rankings when she takes on #13 Angela Hill.
The task will not be an easy one, as Hill, a veteran, has been competing inside the 115lb division since its conception in 2014. She has been a staple in the division the entire time, having mixed results but continuing to be competitive against the best fighters in the world. For Godinez, it will absolutely be the biggest jump in competition since joining the UFC last year.
Hill will be looking to bounce back after three straight losses to fellow contenders Virna Jandiroba, Amanda Lemos, and Tecia Torres. Godinez most recently looked in her best form against Ariane Carnelossi, which makes two wins straight for the Mexican-Canadian fighter.
Godinez will ride her two-fight momentum into the cage as the favorite. It will cost $320 for a chance to win $100 should she win.
Godinez vs. Hill Breakdown
Stylistically, the oddsmakers have very sound reasoning for having Godinez as the favorite. While both women are very technically skilled, that statement applies to more areas in the cage for Godinez. First, while the two stand and trade strikes, the skill gap is most closed and very even. Both women have very technical striking, Godinez favors a more MMA striking approach without hard ground in any traditional style, while Hill very much looks to her Thai boxing roots. Godinez’s striking is very short and sharp, she stands low in her stance with a high guard. Her best punches come in relatively straight and quick, even her hooks barely have much loop to them, instead almost coming in straighter than average hooking shots.
Hill will have a three-inch reach advantage which is important. Godinez already fights short and will likely be the one pressuring. Hill likes to cut angles and land on the end of her length, often cutting wide left and landing long rights over top of the guard. While her background is in Muay Thai, most of her success comes from the hands in MMA, but she may want to up her kicking game in this one to take full advantage of Godinez, who tends to neglect getting the fullest extent from her reach. Regardless from a technical standpoint, neither woman offers many plain openings in their striking, and it will be closely contested.
Once it hits the mat, however, Godinez has a massive advantage. Godinez has a tremendous takedown game, two of her sisters are national championship-level wrestlers in Canada, and it shows in her training. She has very fluid sweeps and trips, including a great outside reap and a tricky arm drag-to-trip technique more reminiscent of what you would see in judo. These are the takedowns that are hard to adjust to in fights as they are uncommon, but it makes it even more difficult as she seamlessly blends them into her striking and clinch grappling. Aside from these her power doubles have great timing and physicality to them, and she sets them up with her strikes perfectly. On the mat, she tends to float on top, allowing her opponent to move but staying in perpetual motion and chipping away with small strikes, Ultimately, this leads her to her submission opportunities, but she is patient and relaxed while grappling making her very difficult to get a head on.
I think we will see a very competitive fight while it lasts. However, as Hill is forced to take chances to make the most of these exchanges, it will open up opportunities for Godinez to clinch or level change, and the skill gap on the ground will be evident.
Pick: Loopy Godinez to win (-320 odds at BetUS)
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.