Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade UFC Odds & Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s Main Event (April 23)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Jessica Andrade.
- Saturday's UFC Fight Night main event features Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade.
- Andrade enters as a big favorite, but Sean Zerillo still sees value on that side.
- Check out Zerillo's full fight breakdown and pick below.
Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade Odds
A future Strawweight title challenger could emerge on Saturday between No. 10 contender Amanda Lemos and the No. 6 pound-for-pound Jessica Andrade — the current No. 1 Flyweight contender and former Strawweight champion, returning to the 115-pound division after a three-fight stint at 125.
Andrade initially won the Strawweight strap over current champion Rose Namajunas before losing a via knockout to Weili Zhang and sustaining a split decision loss in her rematch with "Thug Rose" at UFC 251 in 2020. Her two recent wins (over Katlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo) came by first-round TKO.
Lemos is 5-0 with the promotion since returning from a two-year layoff from 2017-19, with a trio of first-round finishes.
Oddsmakers expect a violent affair, setting this fight around -200 (67% implied) to end inside the distance — more than double the finish rate for the average UFC Strawweight bout (32%).
Will Lemos continue to ascend the Strawweight rankings, or can the former champion finally stop this hype train and work her way back into title contention?
Tale of the Tape
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My primary — and generally my only — concern on the Andrade side is durability after moving to 125 and then back down to 115.
As my colleague Billy Ward pointed out on the Action Network Podcast, taking 10 pounds off of a 125-pound person is a significantly higher percentage (8%) than when Dan Hooker recently dropped back down from 155 to 145 (6.4%), for example.
But while Hooker had nearly a five-year gap between his Featherweight stints, Andrade spent a relatively short amount of time at Flyweight, and she's returning to her natural weight class in the prime of her career (age 30).
Lemos is the older fighter and unlikely to make significant improvements at this stage of her career.
She's shown cardio issues in three-round fights with her volume dropping off after the seven-minute mark. And this is her first foray into a main event, so the championship rounds could be particularly challenging.
Moreover, Lemos is taking a significant step up in competition against a former champion who has competed with the best in the world at 115 and the best fighter on the planet in Valentina Shevchenko.
Lemos' recent run isn't awe-inspiring in hindsight. Only her win over No. 12 ranked Angela Hill — a Strawweight gatekeeper — carries weight. And the margins in that fight were extremely narrow.
While I scored the fight for Lemos (Rounds 1 & 3), most media and fan scorecards had the bout for Hill. Essentially, Lemos won the fight by landing the same technique (a beautiful front kick) in the first and third rounds. But the final frame was extremely close — mainly because Lemos slowed down.
Andrade isn't going to oblige Lemos at kickboxing range. She will look to pressure, get inside and make this a bar fight. I expect her to put in attritional work on the body, utilize the cage push and look to drag Lemos to the mat (2.9 takedowns per 15 minutes, 55% accuracy), where she should have a grappling edge.
Lemos does her best work early in fights and when she's able to lead the dance, so Andrade needs to pressure and dirty this fight up in the early stages, get in close quarters and tire out her opponent.
Lemos' recent opponents have obliged the range game, but I don't expect Andrade to follow a similar plan. It's not her style, to begin with, and she's also ceding three inches of both height and reach in this matchup.
Moreover, Lemos isn't a counterpuncher. When you put her on the back foot, she looks uncomfortable and isn't able to sit down on her punches and kicks like she would in the middle of the octagon.
And she's exceptionally hittable (48% striking defense), too. I suspect Andrade can keep up on volume in the early going even if these two decide to slug it out in the center. But the longer the fight drags on and the more that Andrade mixes in her grappling, the better her chances of winning.
We haven't seen Lemos face any high-level wrestlers on her current winning streak, but the fact that Angela Hill secured a takedown and 4:24 of control time is alarming. Andrade should be able to muscle her around.
If Lemos cannot secure an early finish, I expect Andrade to take over down the stretch to a significant degree. She should dominate the minute-winning after the first 7-to-10 minutes, and I suspect she'll find a finish in the third or fourth round.
The cardio, wrestling, and experience against superior competition should be enough to see her hand raised — but she also presents a challenging and different stylistic matchup for Lemos, who is a much better hammer than she is a nail.
Lemos vs. Andrade Pick
I projected Jessica Andrade as a 71.6% favorite (-253 implied) in this fight, and I'm happy to bet her moneyline up to around -225, at roughly a 2.5% edge compared to my projection.
Moreover, I project value on Andrade by submission (projected +458, listed +500) and Andrade to win by finish or inside the distance (projected +100, listed +125).
Additionally, I see value in the fight to end inside the distance (projected -205, listed -200).
Still, I have difficulty betting a Strawweight fight to end by finish at more than double the implied probability of an average Strawweight bout (31%).
And while I suspect that Andrade wins this fight inside the distance, I'm more comfortable laying the juice on her moneyline. I could see her winning a 50-45 or 49-46 decision by putting on her wrestling singlet for 25 minutes.
The Pick: Jessica Andrade (-200 at Caesars)