Yazmin Jauregui vs. Sam Hughes prediction | UFC Mexico City 1

24-year-old prospect Yazmin Jauregui crashed back to Earth when she finished in the first 20 seconds of round one. Prior to that knockout loss, Jauregui’s rising stardom was nearly flawless, a perfect 10-0 with seven finishes.

Sam “Sampage” Hughes, 31, has had an up and down UFC career. She dropped her first three bouts, followed them up with back-to-back wins, and then split a win and loss in her last two fights.

Betting Odds

Jauregui is the largest favorite on the card and growing.

  • Yazmin Jauregui: -500
  • Sam Hughes: +390

Fight Breakdown

Jauregui is an exceptionally talented boxer with high volume and real fight-ending power. However, there seems to be a disconnect between pre-UFC Jauregui and current Jauregui. Pre-UFC, Jauregui fought with a confidence that bordered on reckless, willing to let her hands go constantly while trusting her movement and defense to keep her safe long enough for her to find the knockout blow.

However, since joining the UFC, while Jauregui’s striking statistics (6.2 landed to 4.8 absorbed) appear to showcase her volume-focused approach, watching her fights, she seems hesitant to really let loose. Granted, there is a stark difference in the pre-UFC talented compared to the three fighters she’s faced thus far; so, Jauregui’s hesitation may stem from a respect for her opponents.

But it’s resulted in her being underwhelming in the cage and struggling more than many thought she would. At her best, Jauregui has crisp boxing with an intelligent jab, and nasty cross, and an ability to work the body with devastation.

Hughes is becoming a bit of a cult hero in the MMA community, especially in the gambling space. She is a limited fighter with even more limited striking and an almost allergy to defense and movement. But she’s continued to gain popularity because she has cashed as an underdog in three of her last four fights. The closing lines were +210, +115, and +250.

Despite winning three of her last four fights Hughes is a massive underdog again, which has Hughes backers salivating at the big number. However, the reasons for Hughes’ underdog prices are ever-present entering this fight. She is a subpar striker with a basic jab and terrible striking defense. She gets hit early, often, and violently throughout the fight.

However, what she does have is toughness and durability. Hughes is able to grit through barrages of strikes, offering little resistance, to clinch her opponent and survive. She’ll take this punching bag approach early to gas her opponent out, drag them exhaustedly into deep waters, and then win late in the fight. It is a bloody and concussion-risk style but successful nonetheless.


Jauregui is a -500 favorite, which gives her an implied win probability of 83.3%. It isn’t much of a prediction to pick her to win, but that is my official pick: Jauregui to win.

However, my best bet is at a much more palatable number. Prior to the UFC, Jauregui showed crispy and powerful boxing with a nose for the finish. Meanwhile, prior to her last two fights, where Hughes gritted her way through near-fight-ending adversity, she was able to be finished.

Jauregui’s pre-fight boxing acumen, hasn’t fully transitioned over to the UFC. Yes, she’s won a fight by knockout but her defense and overall power has been lackluster compared to the overwhelming and overpowering boxing we saw outside of the UFC.

I think that changes this weekend. Jauregui has seemed hesitant to throw her full arsenal of aggressive attacks; but, considering she’s faced 3 fighters with real power, her hesitation is understandable. Now that she is in a fight with a subpar striker, I expect to see an aggressive Jauregui.

Meanwhile, Hughes’ toughness has impressed in back-to-back fights, but, in each case, she fought primary grapplers and was still pieced up. I expect both women to return to their mean- Jauregui with aggressively powerful boxing and Hughes with her struggles to survive volume strikers. I like Jauregui to pile on the output and find a late round TKO against a bloodied and battered Hughes. The knockout odds are a much better number than the -500 Jauregui money line.

Best Bet: Jauregui to win by knockout (+225 at BetUS)

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