UFC Fight Night: Lemos vs. Andrade takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade
After amassing a five-fight unbeaten stretch in the UFC, Lemos now gets a major step-up in competition as she goes up against former strawweight queen Andrade, who is coming back to the division after a 2-1 run at flyweight.
Lemos has impressed with her muay-thai based striking during her UFC run to date, showcasing genuine power, high output and solid shot selection to deliver a potent offensive arsenal that’s registered two finishes in the Octagon, and seven in total over the course of her 11-fight career. In this particular match-up she’ll also enjoy a 3″ height and reach advantage against the shorter, stockier Andrade, while at close range she is very capable in the clinch.
The step-up in competition for Lemos also comes with this being her first five-round fight, and in all honesty it’s not the ideal match-up in that regard as Andrade already has experience of going 25 minutes and has shown remarkably good cardio given her relentless forward pressure and constant offensive output.
Andrade is equally energetic when it comes to other aspects of MMA as she uses her natural strength and wrestling ability to bully opponents to the mat, where she continues to maintain an aggressive approach, and so it’s an area that Lemos will likely be eager to avoid.
I could see Lemos having some success early on the feet here as she’s the crisper striker and will find opportunities to land on the counter, but I think she’ll struggle to not only put Andrade away, but also to match her continued intensity in the later rounds, and together with Andrade’s ability to use her wrestling advantage that’ll lead her to a decision win.
Pick: Jessica Andrade wins by decision.
Clay Guida vs. Claudio Puelles
An elder-statesman of the UFC at 40-years-old, Guida is still proving he can put up a good fight as he comes in off a second round submission finish against Leonardo Santos and now takes on gatekeeper status against the 26-year-old Puelles, who has racked up four wins in the promotion so far.
Part of Guida’s success at this late stage in his career comes from the fact that even at 40 he is still a cardio machine, and that could be an important factor here as while he’s not the most economical or effective striker, his constant activity plays well opposite a fighter likes Puelles, who has more of a low output approach on the feet.
Instead, Puelles really comes into his own when he utilizes his grappling and he has numerous submission wins to his name, including two kneebar finishes during his time in the UFC.
That’s certainly something Guida will be concerned about as he has been submitted on no less than 10 occasions during his lengthy career, but that being said, Guida does have good wrestling and at the same time his solid takedown defense will help him dictate where the fight takes place.
I am a bit torn on this pick as Guida could get overzealous with his wrestling and get caught in a submission, but nevertheless I’m still going to pick him as I feel his work rate on the feet could help him win rounds, while he does have the ability to outwrestle Puelles too, giving him enough options to battle his way to a decision victory.
Pick: Clay Guida wins by decision.
Alexander Romanov vs. Chase Sherman
This was a match-up no-one saw coming as Sherman was actually released from the UFC just last week, but remarkably has now been brought right back into the fold after stepping in as a late replacement against the undefeated Romanov on just a few days notice.
It’s a great option for Sherman to prove he still belongs in the UFC despite having lost his last three fights in a row, but it’s a very tough match-up for him as Romanov holds an impressive 15-0 record and has already picked up four wins in the UFC.
On top of that, stylistically the fight heavily favors Romanov as he’s a dominant wrestler with mauling ground-and-pound and a submission threat, all of which is bad news for the heavily striking orientated Sherman.
The fact that Romanov doesn’t have much to offer on the feet does hand Sherman a glimmer of hope as he is a respectable striker with plenty of finishes to his name, but I see ‘King Kong’ being able to bring him down without too many problems and from there it’s only a matter of time before he finds a finish.
Pick: Alexander Romanov wins by submission in Rd2.
Lando Vannata vs. Charles Jourdain
Two fighters with indifferent UFC records clash here, with Vannata having gone 4-5-2 including a split decision win last time out in his 145lb debut, while Jourdain is 3-3-1 and coming off a unanimous decision victory.
Both fighters have plenty to offer on the feet, with Vannata being a good boxer who has a hard-to-read rhythm, can work on the counter and likes to throw in spinning based attacks.
Meanwhile, Jourdain also fights at a high tempo with good technique and carries the bigger power of the two, while also having very good cardio. He doesn’t have the best takedown defense though and that’s something Vannata could potentially exploit as he has been using wrestling more in recent times.
I could see Vannata being lured into a competitive striking battle here though, but while it might be somewhat back-and-forth I think Jourdain will be the one landing the more telling blows with his power advantage and together with his ability to maintain his output for longer than his opponent I think he’ll make the bigger impact late in the fight to earn a win on the scorecards.
Pick: Charles Jourdain wins by decision.
Maycee Barber vs. Montana De La Rosa
Barber got back on track with a split decision win last time out over Miranda Maverick after having lost two fights prior to that, and now fights De La Rosa, who claimed her first ever TKO win against Ariane Lipski last time out, but had picked up a loss and a draw before that.
Known as ‘The Future’, Barber joined the UFC at just 20-years-old, and while she hasn’t quite lived up to the early hype it’s important to note that she’s still only 23-years-old. So she still has plenty of time for genuine improvement and in the meantime she has some good raw materials to work with as she’s a physically strong fighter with good boxing who stays busy offensively and carries notable power in her hands.
Despite her ground-and-pound TKO win last time out, De La Rosa generally hasn’t showcased that kind of stopping power throughout her career. Her striking game is fairly limited so she’ll be eager to avoid exchanges with Barber and instead will try to get the fight to the mat in order to outwrestle Barber and hunt for submissions.
Barber is the better athlete here and has fairly solid takedown defense so I favor her to keep this one standing and outstrike De La Rosa for three rounds to get the nod from the judges.
Pick: Maycee Barber wins by decision.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Qileng Aori vs. Cameron Else
Jordan Wright vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
Tyson Pedro vs. Ike Villanueva
Dean Barry vs. Mike Jackson
Marcin Prachnio vs. Philipe Lins
Dwight Grant vs. Sergey Khandozhko