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UFC Vegas 64 preview: ‘Rodriguez vs. Lemos’ predictions

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is just one day away from the upcoming UFC Vegas 64 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which is set to go down tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 5, 2022) on ESPN+ from inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a women’s strawweight main event between Top 10 title hopefuls Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos, a five-round headliner with serious title implications for late 2022 and beyond.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 83 On ESPN+

TOP 15-RANKED BANTAMWEIGHT BATTLE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns home to “Sin City” on Sat., Dec. 9, 2023, with a 135-pound main event showdown between top-seeded division contenders, Yadong Song (No. 7) and Chris Gutierrez (No. 15), with the winner looking to make a potential run at the Bantamweight belt in 2024. In UFC Vegas 83’s co-main event, former Light Heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Smith, steps up on short notice to lock horns with the surging Khalil Rountree Jr.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Before we dive into the main and co-main events, which includes the welterweight collision between Neil Magny and Daniel Rodriguez, check out Patrick Stumberg’s breakdowns for the UFC Vegas 64 preliminary card — which he drafted on eggshell with romalian type — by clicking here and here. In addition, in-house pro fighter Andrew Richardson covered the rest of the UFC Vegas 64 main card right here.

For the latest “Rodriguez vs. Lemos” odds and betting lines courtesy of our fiscal friends over at Draft Kings go here.

Let’s talk shop.

115 lbs.: Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Lemos

Marina Rodriguez

Record: 16-1-2 | Age: 35 | Betting line: -210
Wins: 6 KO/TKO, 1 SUB, 9 DEC | Losses: 0 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 1 DEC
Height: 5’6“ | Reach: 65” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 5.03 | Striking accuracy: 47%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 3.07 | Striking Defense: 57%
Takedown Average: 0.20 (33% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 65%
Current Ranking: No. 3 | Last fight: Split decision win over Xiaonan Yan

Amanda “Amandinha” Lemos

Record: 12-2-1 | Age: 35 | Betting line: +180
Wins: 7 KO/TKO, 3 SUB, 2 DEC | Losses: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB, 0 DEC
Height: 5’4“ | Reach: 65” | Stance: Southpaw
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 4.87 | Striking accuracy: 57%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 4.40 | Striking Defense: 48%
Takedown Average: 1.07 (57% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 81%
Current Ranking: No. 7 | Last fight: Submission win over Michelle Waterson

Words like “pivotal” are being bandied about for Sat. night’s strawweight showdown pitting Marina Rodriguez against Amanda Lemos and for good reason. Regardless of who wins between Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili at UFC 281 later this month in New York, I don’t know of too many fans who will be screaming for a third fight against Rose Namajunas, who is down 0-2 to “Cookie Monster” but up 2-0 on “Magnum.” I’ve also had my fill of Jessica Andrade title shots, who is quickly becoming the Holly Holm of every division not named featherweight. Rodriguez is probably the promotion’s first choice, considering she’s ranked higher than Lemos at No. 4 and coming off four straight wins. To her credit, Lemos has captured six of her last seven but was also finished by the aforementioned Andrade back in April, so it’s hard to ramp up the title talk when she’s already been stopped by one of the division’s top contenders. If there’s a knock against Rodriguez it’s that she’s been to a decision in her last three fights — which doesn’t exactly scream “title shot” — and her split nod over Xiaonan Yan was scored in favor of “Fury” on half the media outlets tallied at MMA Decisions. Simply put, a finish is just as important as a win at UFC Vegas 64.

Both fighters turned 35 this year so this may be their last hurrah, win or lose. Rodriguez throws more volume but Lemos is more accurate with her punches. “Amandinha” also has better offensive wrestling, which is likely to come into play considering her porous striking defense. I don’t want to say Lemos takes too many punches but her defense has more holes in it than Chuck Liddell’s liver. With so many things being equal in this fight, including their 65-inch reach, it really boils down to how well Rodriguez can keep the distance. Lemos has more ways to win and is probably better in the pressure department, I just don't know if she’ll be able to keep that pace for all 25 minutes. Lemos has never been five rounds and Rodriguez has done it twice, resulting in consecutive victories over battle-tested veterans Michelle Waterson and Mackenzie Dern. If Lemos is going to prevail she’s going to do it early and violently. Otherwise she’ll spend the second half of the fight winging haymakers of frustration followed by shots of sloppy, long-distance takedowns. It may not be the slam-bang main event fans want from a “Fight Night” card, but I think most of us are used to that by now.

Prediction: Rodriguez def. Lemos by unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Neil Magny vs. Daniel Rodriguez

Neil “The Haitian Sensation” Magny

Record: 26-9 | Age: 35 | Betting line: -120
Wins: 7 KO/TKO, 3 SUB, 16 DEC | Losses: 2 KO/TKO, 5 SUB, 2 DEC
Height: 6’3“ | Reach: 80” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 3.59 | Striking accuracy: 46%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 2.16 | Striking Defense: 55%
Takedown Average: 2.31 (40% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 57%
Current Ranking: No. 13 | Last fight: Submission loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov

Daniel “D-Rod” Rodriguez

Record: 17-2 | Age: 35 | Betting line: +100
Wins: 8 KO/TKO, 4 SUB, 5 DEC | Losses: 0 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 2 DEC
Height: 6’1“ | Reach: 74” | Stance: Southpaw
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 7.75 | Striking accuracy: 49%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 5.35 | Striking Defense: 57%
Takedown Average: 0.72 (55% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 73%
Current Ranking: No. 14 | Last fight: Split decision win over Jingliang Li

Neil Magny is just a couple of months away from his 10-year anniversary in UFC and during the last decade, the “Haitian Sensation” put together a good (but not great) record of 19-8, successful enough for the No. 13 spot at 170 pounds. He’s come close to cracking the Top 5 during one of his better runs, landing at No. 7 back in summer 2016, but Magny would get finished twice that year by Rafael dos Anjos and Lorenz Larkin, sending him back to square one. Magny doesn’t really excel in any specific area though he is fairly well rounded and his height (6’3”) and reach (80”) can be a problem for any welterweight, which is why the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) standout continues to stymie journeymen like Max Griffin and Geoff Neal, among others. That said, Magny runs into trouble against stronger or more accomplished wrestlers, like Michael Chiesa and Shavkat Rakhmonov, two welterweights who were able to control the “Haitian Sensation” with little effort. I don’t expect that to be an issue in his fight against Daniel Rodriguez, a smaller brawler who seems tailor-made for the tried-and-true Magny offense.

Rodriguez is a product of Dana White’s “Contender Series” (Season 3) but needed a follow-up win on the regional circuit to earn his UFC contract. Since then, the former Combate Global standout has compiled a 7-1 record with three finishes and is now the winner of four straight. Where you rank Rodriguez among the rest of the welterweight up-and-comers may depend on how much stock you put into his wins over Mike Perry and Kevin Lee, a pair of 170-pound “names” who set sail for greener pastures after losing a shitload of fights. Based on how the Jingliang Li bout was scored I think the general consensus is that Rodriguez was gifted a split decision victory, though I’m not sure it’s a hill I’m prepared to die on when determining how much it affects his upcoming fight against Magny. Rodriguez was taken down twice by Perry and three times by Lee and still managed to win both fights by way of judges’ scorecards. That’s because “Platinum” and “Motown Phenom” do not have the Dhalsim-like limbs of Magny, who knows how to make the most of his positioning. I would expect “D-Rod” to stay busy on his feet and throw punches in bunches, but once Magny settles in and starts working the wall, Rodriguez is going to be in for a long night.

Prediction: Magny def. Rodriguez by unanimous decision

Remember, the rest of the UFC Vegas 64 main card predictions are RIGHT HERE. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 64 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 64 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive here. For the updated and finalized “Rodriguez vs. Lemos” fight card and ESPN+ line up click here.

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