UFC Vegas 64 will be headlined by two contenders in the women’s strawweight division, Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos.
With an impressive win on Saturday, Marina will probably secure her spot as a title contender. But Amanda is one of the most complete fighters on the WMMA roster, with devastating power and impressive grappling. The public, however, overwhelmingly expects Rodriguez to win this fight. 87% of Tapology voters favor her while betting odds imply nearly a 70% winning chance for Marina. Yet again, I’m shocked to see MMA fans and Vegas backing a one-dimensional striker over a much better all-around fighter. First, let’s look at the numbers, as this is a very close fight. I don’t see why not.
According to UFC Stats, Marina lands 5.03 strikes per minute, while Amanda lands only 4.87 strikes. So neither fighter holds definitive edge standing. But defensively, Rodriguez absorbs fewer strikes than her opponent, with 3.07 strikes per minute to Lemos’s 4.40. Marina is a more technical fighter, with slightly better output and striking defense. But there is a catch, and that is power. Amanda Lemos has finished four of her opponents and registered five knockdowns. Meanwhile, Marina only has one stoppage in the UFC and landed two knockdowns.
There is one more stat that goes against Marina in this fight, and that is takedowns allowed. The last six of her opponents have taken Rodriguez down. Lemos’s takedown accuracy rate is 57%, so it is fair to assume she will land a takedown. Although Amanda doesn’t attempt enough takedowns to predict overwhelming success in grappling, she has submitted two opponents in the UFC.
Marina is currently as high as a -225 favorite to win the fight, which is a 69.23% implied probability. Although these odds are beyond shocking, Marina should have success in the later part of the fight and win by decision, but Lemos will be landing harder shots, while Rodriguez should, albeit slightly, land more strikes. If Lemos grapples proactively, she can win a close decision or late stoppage. I like Lemos to win this fight as she is one of the hardest-hitting WMMA artist with a better grappling game.
Official Prediction: Amanda Lemos to win by Split Decision.