Thursday, May 19, 2022

UFC Fight Night predictions — Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream

Jessica Andrade returns to the strawweight queendom she briefly ruled to face a hungry contender in Amanda Lemos. The two Brazilian fighters headline another week of UFC Fight Night action from the Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Lemos (11-1-1) had her upside in question after having her seven-fight undefeated streak snapped by Leslie Smith (9-7-1 entering the fight). She bounced back tremendously, winning five consecutive fights including three finishes and a split decision over an always game Angela Hill in December. UFC rewarded Lemos by cranking the dial on her competition level and a main event program as she faces the former women’s strawweight champion.

“Very happy with the opportunity to be in the main event and fight a former champion like Jessica,” Lemos said at Wednesday’s media day via an interpreter. “I’m just focused and again just very happy. It’s a different fight.

“Right away, as soon as they offered, I just accepted right on the spot. I knew it was gonna be a great fight and great opportunity for me to move up in the rankings.”

Andrade (22-9) is in limbo at flyweight. A second-round TKO loss to Shevchenko at UFC 261 makes it difficult to justify a rematch anytime soon, despite her stellar follow-up finish of Cynthia Calvillo. Andrade makes her first trek down to strawweight in nearly two years as she pieces together a run that may culminate in another crack at the title she held for just three months. Andrade perceives strawweight as the more perilous route to the mountaintop.

“I wouldn’t say it would be quicker at strawweight because I was already No. 1 at flyweight, and it’s a much tougher competition overall,” Andrade said via an interpreter. “I think the level of competition at strawweight is still quite ahead of the flyweight division.

“At the end of the day, I’m a strawweight. I’m gonna perform my best at strawweight… Strawweight is my optimum weight.”

The UFC Fight Night main card is smothered in competitive fights that should produce entertaining results. Charles Jourdain vs. Lando Vannata should produce Fight of the Night results, Claudio Puelles vs. Clay Guida is an entertaining pick’em and Maycee Barber vs. Montana De La Rosa is a solid offering from the women’s flyweight division.

Here is the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Jessica Andrade -190

Amanda Lemos +160

Women’s strawweight

Alexander Romano -1200

Chase Sherman +750

Heavyweight

Claudio Puelles -115

Clay Guida -105

Lightweight

Charles Joudain -125

Lando Vannata +105

Featherweight

Maycee Barber -175

Montana De La Rosa +150

Women’s flyweight

Manel Kape -180

Su Mudaerji +155

Lightweight

UFC Fight Night viewing information

Date: April 23 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET

Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas, Nevada

Stream: ESPN+

Prediction

Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade: Andrade has an interesting predicament on her hands. One-sided losses to Shevchenko and Zhang Weili do not instill confidence in how viable she is as a long-term UFC champion. The vicious slam she delivered to Rose Namajunas to win the strawweight title in 2019 is often chalked up as an error by her opponent. A split decision loss to Namajunas in the rematch only bolsters that perception, but that split is also a flicker of hope. Andrade has tremendous power at 115 and 125. She is equipped with a well-rounded game, winning by knockout, submission and decision at almost an equal clip. She is missing that next gear that will elevate her to the top of the game. Unfortunately for her opponent, Lemos might be a notch or two behind the former champion. Lemos will have to rely on her height and reach advantage to keep Andrade on the outside. Lemos has finishing power of her own, no doubt, but few at this weight class can match Andrade’s brawn. It would behoove Lemos to drag this fight out, get ahead on the scorecards and force Andrade to take sloppy chances. Andrade has only lost to current and former UFC champions in the last six years. Expect her heavy pressure to breakthrough Lemos’ defenses. Once Andrade is in range, she will land a decapitating blow or swallow Lemos into the undertow of her suffocating submission game. Pick: Andrade KO2

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