Amanda Lemos was a retired fighter before she got the call to face Leslie Smith in the UFC in 2017. On Saturday, she’ll make her third trip to the octagon, looking for her second win against Japan’s Mizuki Inoue, who is returning to strawweight after making her promotional debut as a flyweight last year.
Inoue challenged for strawweight gold in Invicta FC. Lemos once held the Jungle Fight bantamweight title in her native Brazil.
Both fighters were looking for even more success in the UFC.
Given Lemos’ history as a bantamweight, it was little surprise to see her as the larger, stronger fighter in the octagon on Saturday. Her kicks had a snap to them early, and she looked to work from the Thai clinch when Mizuki closed the distance. The Japanese fighter then pushed Lemos into the cage, where they battled for head position and Mizuki dropped a few old school foot stomps. Lemos answered with a knee, then landed several punches off the break.
With under two minutes remaining, Lemos’ power became a factor again as she landed a right hand, knocking Mizuki down. Lemos got on top, but Mizuki threatened with an arm-bar. That forced Lemos to rethink things; she opted to get back to her feet moments later.
In round two, Mizuki got her boxing going, backing Lemos up to the fence. Again, there was a battle for head position, which devolved into an angry exchange of short punches and elbows. Lemos latched on with a Thai clinch, working in some knees; the pair continued to trade elbows off and on as well. Just when it looked like Mizuki would get the fight down, Lemos powered out, and landed a takedown of her own, practically throwing her opponent to the mat. Of course, in Mizuki’s guard, Lemos had to worry about the arm-bar again.
The round finished on the feet, the scrappy Mizuki very much in it, but she’d more than likely need to make something happen in the third.
The Japanese fighter looked to take the fight down early in the third, by way of catching a kick. Lemos hopped back to the fence, with Mizuki staying tight looking for a single leg. That was a theme throughout the round — Mizuki working on the leg, mixing in some elbows, but unable to get the fight to the ground. Back in the open, Lemos landed a hard elbow, leading to Mizuki, with a fresh cut, taking the fight back to the fence.
In the end, Lemos’ power and strength were just too much for Inoue. She had the knockdown, and out-muscled Mizuki when it mattered, even with the Japanese fighter having a solid amount of control time along the cage.
Official Result: Amanda Lemos def. Mizuki Inoue by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)