There are only six live events remaining for MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, before Dana White and company take a hiatus for the holidays in December and early January. The stretch run begins on Saturday night with UFC Vegas 64 and the UFC Vegas 64 main event from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Barring any late cancellations to Saturday"s event, UFC Vegas 64 will feature a full 12-fight card. Live coverage of the show begins with undercard fights at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT on ESPN+, followed at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT with the main card.
Top 10 Showdown at 115 lbs. in UFC Vegas 64 Main Event
Highlighting the night"s itinerary is a strawweight bout in the UFC Vegas 64 main event. No. 3 contender Marina Rodriguez (16-1-2 MMA, 6-1-2 UFC) and No. 7 contender Amanda Lemos (12-2-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC.) As with all UFC main events, Saturday"s contest will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
Rodriguez and Lemos Rebooked Two Weeks Later
Initially, Amanda Lemos and Marina Rodriguez were slated to have fought one another on Oct. 22 during UFC 280, but this fight was pushed back by two weeks, yet no specific reasoning was given by the promotion. Rodriguez vs. Lemos was also not scheduled to be the headliner this weekend.
Prior to the Rodriguez/ Lemos tilt being booked to the main attraction, the UFC had targeted a featherweight fight between No. 9 contender Bryce Mitchell and No. 10 contender Movsar Evloev as Saturday"s main event. During the weekend of UFC 280, it was announced that Evloev was injured and would not be able to make the Nov. 5 date.
Two weeks after Rodriguez and Lemos were booked to fight on the UFC 280 undercard, these two contenders will get their chance at one another here with high stakes involved. The winner could potentially find herself right in the thick of the strawweight championship picture.
UFC Vegas 64 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the UFC Vegas 64 main event on Saturday night, Marina Rodriguez stands as the taller contestant at 5-foot-6, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Amanda Lemos. Additionally, both Rodriguez and Lemos own 65-inch reaches, with Rodriguez owning a 1 1/2-inch leg reach advantage over Lemos.
The oddsmakers currently have Marina Rodriguez installed as a -161 favorite for Saturday, while Amanda Lemos is a +130 underdog. If you plan to bet on the UFC Vegas 64 main event or any other fights on this card, please wager responsibly.
Marina Rodriguez Eyeing Strawweight Championship Bid
Marina Rodriguez enters the main event on Saturday evening having gone 4-1 in her last five MMA appearances and is currently on a four-fight winning streak. Most recently, she defeated Yan Xionan (16-3, 1 NC MMA, 7-2 UFC) on March 5 during UFC 272. After the fight, Rodriguez was interviewed by BT Sport"s Caroline Pearce, and it became clear that she is hungry for the title.
“For sure," Rodriguez said through her translator. “The plan is to wait for Rose (Namajunas) and Carla (Esparza) to fight, but I don"t have my entire life ahead of me, so I can"t really wait until– if they decide to fight late next year or something– but the idea is to wait and see what happens there and go for the title."
Namajunas and Esparza fought in May for the UFC Strawweight Championship, with the latter taking the championship by split decision. With Esparza now awaiting her next opponent, Rodriguez must not look too far ahead and focus on what lies ahead of her in the UFC Vegas 64 main event. It should be noted that Rodriguez and Esparza have already fought each other once before in the UFC.
The July 25, 2020 contest between the two of them saw Esparza winning by split decision. Pending a Rodriguez victory on Saturday evening, there could be a battle for revenge in the offing for her.
Amanda Lemos Looks To Move Closer To Championship
In the other corner, Amanda Lemos comes into the headlining bout sporting a 4-1 record of her own during the last five fights. Back on July 16, she stopped Michelle Waterson-Gomez (second-round submission: guillotine choke) during UFC on ABC 3 from Long Island.
It was her fourth victory by submission, placing her into a tie with Mackenzie Dern for the second-most stoppage victories in UFC strawweight history. The victorious Lemos was interviewed by 2022 UFC Hall of Fame inductee Daniel Cormier following the submission that summer afternoon.
“It was the defeat that motivated me to come here and fight again," Lemos began through her translator. “I want to stay busy. I love Michelle, we"ve trained together before in the past. She"s got a family here. She"s a great class act. a great fighter. We know our paths will cross at some point, and I came here to get a victory."
Just like Marina Rodriguez, Amanda Lemos enters on great form, but can she derail Rodriguez"s title hopes while strengthening her own on Saturday night? Tune in and find out.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 64 main event looks to favor Marina Rodriguez, who holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a blue belt in Muay-Thai, compared to striker Amanda Lemos. Thus, it stands to reason that the first major strike landed in the fight could be the only major strike landed in the fight.
Watch Out For Rodriguez"s Power Punches
One aspect of Marina Rodriguez"s fighting acumen that"s shown itself in the past is her ability to land power punches, something that illustrated itself in January of 2021 on Fight Island versus Amanda Ribas. While Rodriguez tried to grapple with Ribas in round one, her performance in round two is what gave her the victory.
Rodriguez began by attempting to put Ribas in the clinch, though the latter quickly stuffed the attempt, Although Ribas was able to avoid getting herself into the clinch, it proved to be inconsequential in the long run, as she absorbed a nasty right-handed punch to be knocked down. From there, Rodriguez landed ground and pound shots, almost ending the fight, but Herb Dean failed to stop the fight.
Dean"s indecisiveness was itself inconsequential, with Rodriguez landing another right-handed shot to end the fight for good. If Marina Rodriguez lands right hands with regularity, this fight is hers.
Lemos Can Be Slick With Submissions
In the other corner, although an Amanda Lemos submission win hasn"t happened too often in her UFC tenure, when it does happen, it"s slick. Just ask Michelle Waterson-Gomez from their July fight.
During the second round of a scheduled three, Lemos pieced Waterson-Gomez up with punches and kicks, who responded with kicks of her own. From there, Lemos scored with a punch to the body before her opponent secured a takedown, setting up an arm-in guillotine choke, forcing Waterson-Gomez to tap out.
Referee Kevin MacDonald didn"t see the tap live, but Waterson-Gomez motioned to him that she had tapped out, with Lemos releasing hold of the choke afterward.
If Lemos is able to take Rodriguez down, it could be the opening she needs to get the submission on Saturday night.
On the week before the UFC"s next pay-per-view, the promotion has a decent main event. The title picture at strawweight could become much clearer after the UFC Vegas 64 main event on Saturday night.
Prediction: Marina Rodriguez by Unanimous Decision.
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