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MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event for UFC Fight Night 205.
UFC Fight Night takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card streams on ESPN+.
Amanda Lemos (11-1-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Height: 5’4″ Age: 34 Weight: 115 lbs. Reach: 65″
Last fight: Decision win over Angela Hill (Dec. 18, 2021)
Camp: Marajo Brothers Team (Brazil)
Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/muay Thai
Risk management: Good
+ Jungle Fight bantamweight title
+ 7 KO victories
+ 2 submission wins
+ 8 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Accurate hooks and crosses
^ Coming forward or off the counter
+ Hard kicks and knees
^ Favors front and leg kicks at range
+ Strong inside the clinch
^ Defensively and offensively
+ Serviceable scrambling ability
+ Solid positional grappler
^ Aggressive from topside
Jessica Andrade (22-9 MMA, 13-7 UFC)
Height: 5’1″ Age: 30 Weight: 115 lbs. Reach: 62″
Last fight: TKO win over Cynthia Calvillo(Sept. 25, 2021)
Camp: Parana Vale Tudo (Brazil)
Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
Risk management: Fair
+ Former UFC strawweight champion
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ Muay Thai blue belt
+ 9 KO victories
+ 7 submission wins
+ 10 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Relentless pace and pressure
+ High-volume striker
^ Combinations and bodywork
+ Strong inside the clinch
^ Trips, throws, high-crotch lifts
+ Solid top game
^ Pressures, postures, strikes, passes
Point of interest: The bull vs. the matador
Sep 25, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Jessica Andrade moves in for a hit against Cynthia Calvillo during UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The main event in Las Vegas features a classic styles fight in the strawweight division.
Coming out like the proverbial bull in a China shop, the former strawweight champion, [autotag]Jessica Andrade[/autotag], is your quintessential pressure fighter.
Akin to the female version of John Lineker, Andrade is most effective when able to get her opposition on the back foot and fleeting toward the fence. Once able to corral her opponent in between the cage and inner-black octagon lines, the 30-year-old Brazilian will unleash in left-to-right continuums, varying well to the body with regularity.
Andrade’s aggression obviously makes her available to offense coming back her way, but she has been better about trying to find solutions for her style and stature that involve head movement and past influences.
Re: comments I’m seeing on Jessica Andrade’s head movement… when interviewing her at UNLV boxing back in 2017, Angelo Reyes really stressed Henry Armstrong’s style to both Andrade and her coaches before she decided to stay in Brazil, as something tells me she took it to heart: pic.twitter.com/9FfGI9MPGn
— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) April 23, 2021
Nevertheless, Andrade will still need to be mindful whenever she dips or slips into the pocket considering the counters of [autotag]Amanda Lemos[/autotag].
An athletic fighter who also used to compete at 135 pounds, Lemos brings some interesting problems to the table. Despite listing herself as a southpaw striker, Lemos is comfortable throwing her patent hooks and crosses from both stances, whether she is coming forward or looking to counter.
The former Jungle Fight champion does appear to operate more out of orthodox, but has no issues shifting to southpaw to either counter with a check hook or come forward to finish a combination. Lemos also regularly looks to land hard leg kicks, but I suspect that her front kicks and knees will serve her better against a level-changing threat like Andrade.
Point of interest: Potential grappling threats
Considering the chaos that will likely be taking place on the feet, no one should be surprised if this party hits the floor.
Arguably one of the most violent takedown practitioners in any division she competes in, Andrade is certainly not shy when it comes to opportunities to toss her opposition into the air. The former strawweight champ works well from bodylock variations and can change her level in the open, but does her best work from a head-outside single (a technique that allows her strength to shine through as she almost hoists her opposition at will).
Jessica Andrade demonstrating why it’s important to slam toward the same side as the figure four grip, as she counters Rose Namajunas’ kimura counter to win the title back at UFC 237 #UFC261 pic.twitter.com/h2wHG2hZvT
— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) April 22, 2021
Although Lemos appears comfortable in closed quarters, Andrade’s aggression in said space should give us a better look at the depth of the 34-year-old’s game.
Lemos’ muay Thai sensibilities make her a solid offensive threat via the knee and elbow traffic she controls off of collar ties, which could create damaging moments anytime Andrade allows for the proper space. That said, I suspect that Lemos’ defense will be what’s tested if these two tangle in the wrestling realm.
Lemos seems to have good defensive instincts in regard to her over and underhook awareness, attempting to either hoist or turn opposition when appropriate. The eight-year pro can also hit crafty trips from clinch space, showing a strong top game whenever action flows to the floor.
Still, I’m not sure how much Lemos will want to grapple with Andrade and risk having the tables turned.
The former strawweight champion has come a long way since her submission losses at bantamweight, as Andrade is now a fully-fledged black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And if Andrade is able to get things to the ground, she employs a positional assault that involves posturing, passing and striking with impunity that is hard to ignore.
Point of interest: Odds and opinions
The oddsmakers and public are currently siding with the former strawweight champion, listing Andrade -205 and Lemos +155 via Tipico Sportsbook.
I don’t disagree with the betting spread above or who is favored, but I will warn anyone who is completely writing off Lemos.
She may not have the on-paper accolades or experience of Andrade, but Lemos is a dangerous counter-puncher who will be lively for as long as this fight lasts. And if you look at the common thread in all of Andrade’s UFC losses, they all came to competent counter fighters.
Nevertheless, I still have a hard time going against Andrade here.
Not only has Lemos never been scheduled for five rounds in the UFC, but she also appears to slow and tire within three-round affairs (which is troubling considering her current counterpart). Andrade is a tireless worker who only gets better as the battle goes on, as I suspect that the smaller octagon in The Apex will only assist the former champ with her grappling efforts.
If Lemos can’t clip Andrade within the first five to seven minutes of the fight, then I believe that “Bate Estaca” will eventually drown her out with aggression against the fence and finish her somewhere within the middle rounds.
Prediction: Andrade inside the distance