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Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Lemos full fight preview | UFC Vegas 64

UFC 272: Covington v Masvidal Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight strikers Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Nov. 5, 2022) at UFC Vegas 64 from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rodriguez is intelligently brawling her way up the Strawweight ladder. She may not be one of the most established names at 115 pounds, but Rodriguez has proven herself a Top 5 talent and clear threat to any woman on the roster. Lemos, meanwhile, isn’t quite as proven, but she’s also climbed the ladder rather quickly. She’s no stranger to main event slots herself, which is one of the benefits of being one of the few true knockout punchers at Strawweight.

This might well be a title eliminator, so let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:

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Marina Rodriguez

Record: 16-1-2
Key Wins: Yan Xiaonan (UFC 272), Mackenzie Dern (UFC Vegas 39), Amanda Ribas (257), Tecia Torres (UFC Fight Night 156), Michelle Waterson (UFC Vegas 26)
Key Losses: Carla Esparza (UFC Fight Island 3)
Keys To Victory: Rodriguez is a punishing striker with a great Muay Thai style. She does a great job of building combinations of her fundamentals, punctuating combos with heavy kicks or barrages of knees.

She’s stopped six foes via strikes.

Both women throw and land at a similar rate, but there’s a definite difference in form and style. Lemos loads up on big shots, whereas Rodriguez works more in combination. Of course, there’s a real risk that Rodriguez starts loading up to fire punches-in-bunches and gets interrupted by an overhand.

That type of connection could end the fight. In this match up, it’s important that Rodriguez is careful to hide her bursts. She needs to spend more time kicking at distance and looking for her own counters, then set up flurries between feints. She has to be more careful than usual, simply because of the firepower coming back her way.

Amanda Lemos

Record: 12-2
Key Wins: Michelle Waterson (UFC Long Island), Angela Hill (UFC Vegas 45), Montserrat Ruiz (UFC Vegas 31), Livia Renata Souza (UFC 259).
Key Losses: Jessica Andrade (UFC Vegas 52), Leslie Smith (UFC Fight Night 113).
Keys to Victory: Lemos can crack. Due to her wide stance and emphasis on timing big power shots — on lead and counter alike — I’ve compared the Brazilian previously to Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, and her recent and sudden jump guillotine win over Waterson backs up that analogy further.

Despite swinging so heavy, Lemos can actually keep her volume up pretty high, at least in three round fights. That’s going to be pivotal here. Even if the overall focus is on timing the best connections and ultimately doing more damage, that’s likely not going to matter to the judges if Lemos cannot keep up a similar level of output.

In this fight, I think it would be especially helpful for Lemos to take more of her punches downstairs to the mid-section. She does it occasionally, but a stiff cross to the gut can help prevent combinations, as well as set up her overhand more efficiently.

Lastly, it might be worth trying to catch a kick or time a takedown under a Rodriguez right hand. Lemos is the more effective wrestler, and even if Rodriguez is a solid scrambler, takedowns are still worth pursuing both to score points and make Rodriguez hesitate a bit — similar to Figueiredo’s most recent fight vs. Brandon Moreno!

Bottom Line

This might just be the Strawweight title eliminator.

In seven days, the Strawweight title will be on the line when Zhang Weili challenges Carla Esparza at UFC 281. Who’s set to challenge the winner of that fight? Realistically, it’s unclear. Rose Namajunas definitely needs a win, and she should never be booked to fight Esparza ever again under any circumstances. Jessica Andrade could be in the mix, but she’s been bouncing around to Flyweight, which dulls her argument significantly even if she strangled Lemos not that long ago.

Likely, tonight’s victor secures the next shot at the strap.

As such, defeat definitely hurts for either woman. Rodriguez has built up quite a win streak, and her spot in the Top Five could be at risk in addition to her overall momentum. Lemos is the one fighting up, but either way, losing out on a potential title shot at 35 years of age isn’t ideal for any athlete.

At UFC Vegas 64, Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos will throw down in the main event. Which woman will have her hand raised?

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 64 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 64: “Rodriguez vs. Lemos” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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