The final fight night card of April turns the spotlight on the women’s strawweight division and a fierce matchup between Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade. This battle is huge, with the winner likely earning top contender status at 115lbs and laying claim to the next title shot.
Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade Preview
The in-form Amanda Lemos (11-1-1, 5-1 UFC), with five straight wins, will be looking to extend her record when she comes up against one of the division’s best in Andrade.
Meanwhile, Andrade (22-9-0 13-7-0 UFC) has her sights and ambitions set on reclaiming the title. She is heading into this fight with three losses in her last five contests and most recently made quick work of Cynthia Calvillo.
After Andrade’s disappointing loss to Valentina Shevchenko, she came out raging against Cynthia Calvillo, moving forward with pace, and never stopped throwing loads of punches which jeered the fans. Her consistent pressure paid off as she broke Calvillo’s orbital bone to secure a first-round TKO finish.
Calvillo’s call out of Andrade made her contest in the flyweight division once more, but her attention has turned to a strawweight showdown against Lemos. After the win, Andrade called out the winner of the strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang. A clear sign that her future is back at 115lbs.
“ I know I’m good at 115. I know I’m good at 125 and even 135, also. So it all depends on the timing. Sometimes weight divisions don’t have the timing you need. I want to be the champion. I think now is the time to fight against either and bring this belt back to Brazil.” Andrade said.
Prior to any late postponements or withdrawals, the confirmed UFC Fight Night card will feature 13 MMA fights headlined by an all-Brazilian showdown in the women’s strawweight division.
Both fighters are cut from the same cloth, as they both have their eyes set on the strawweight title in the long run. While Andrade is looking to continue her winning run to cement a firm place as a front runner for the title shot, Lemos is looking to climb the ranks as she continues her fine form in the octagon.
Lemos and Andrade Speak Up
During an interview, last month after her unconvincing win against Angela Hill, Lemos expressed her surprise at her next bout being the main event and vowed to crush every hurdle coming her way. She kept promising the fight would be a mouthwatering contest.
“To be honest, I didn’t imagine it was going to be the main event until I saw the fight was against Andrade, I imagined maybe a co-main event or something like that because I’m really in the moment, I was coming off of the main card, she’s been having lots of good fights, she’s highly ranked, so I knew that it was going to be a high position but I didn’t expect it to be the main event.
“If I put on a show against Jessica Andrade, I think it’s very possible that the title comes next and that’s the goal.”
“If the fans want a show, I’m gonna be the person to show them the show. If they want to see blood, if they want to see punches, I’m going to show them that. I’m going to show them a war,” Lemos said.
Andrade, on the other hand, in a build-up to this fight, took to the media to explain her struggles at finding a fighter at her previous weight division while also promising a statement win that would skyrocket her back into the title contention.
“Any fighter who denies UFC proposals will also have his requests denied later,” Andrade noted. “I have a wonderful relationship with UFC. Whenever they needed me, I was there, and this time was no different. Amanda is a pretty tough new talent, but my goal is not to leave the fight in the judges’ hands. I will win via submission or knockout, and get a spot back on the top of strawweight ranking again,” Andrade said.
This bout looks set to be entertaining, as both women have similar fight styles and would prefer being on their feet throwing powerful punches. With Andrade holding a black belt in BJJ and Lemos countering with backgrounds in boxing and wrestling, it’ll be interesting to see how this much-anticipated contest goes.
Keys to the Fight
Jessica Andrade is a former champion at 115 pounds, and it is easy to see why. She has long been one of the strongest women in the UFC, and this will do wonders for her clinch game. Her raw strength will allow her to utilize trips and set up submissions, which she is known for. If the fight remains standing, however, Lemos will need to be wary of Andrade’s raw power: she put Kaitlyn Chookagian away with body shots and won her title by way of slam KO.
Lemos is an excellent boxer, and her timing on her strikes is top of the division. She has two wins by knockout in her UFC tenure and at least one knockdown in her last four fights, but Andrade is harder to get out of the fight than her previous opponents. However, if she remains patient and leans on her defensive wrestling and boxing she can swing the fight in her favor.
Both of these women pack considerable power for the division, and this is what makes the fight so exciting: they are excellent in their own areas and yet pack a punch necessary to put their opponents away.
Here’s how the rest of this Saturday’s card is looking if nothing changes between now and then:
- Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade: strawweight bout
- Clay Guida vs. Claudio Puelles: lightweight bout
- Maycee Barber vs. Montana De La Rosa: women’s flyweight bout
- Charles Jourdain vs. Lando Vannata: featherweight bout
- Su Mudaerji vs. Manel Kape: flyweight bout
- Louis Cosce vs. Preston Parsons: welterweight bout
- Jordan Wright vs. Marc-Andre Barriault: middleweight bout
- Dwight Grant vs. Sergey Khandozhko: welterweight bout
- Tyson Pedro vs. Ike Villanueva: light heavyweight bout
- Aoriqileng vs. Cameron Else: flyweight bout
- Marcin Prachnio vs. Philipe Lins: heavyweight bout
- Dean Barry vs. Mike Jackson: welterweight bout
How do you see this fight going down? Let us know in the comments below!