Amanda Lemos has the opportunity to bring an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title back to Brazil at UFC 292 this weekend (Sat., Aug. 19, 2023).
The co-main event in Boston, Massachusetts will feature the return of two-time Strawweight queenpin, Zhang Weili, as she seeks her second overall career title defense. Between Zhang and Lemos, they combine as perhaps the two hardest hitters in their 115-pound division.
Another extremely powerful fighter south of 125 pounds is the former champion, Jessica Andrade, who was dethroned by Zhang in Aug. 2019. Andrade submitted Lemos in April 2022 via a first round standing arm triangle choke (watch highlights). Despite the differing results between the two fights, “Bate Estaca” believes her fellow Brazilian has enough skill to take out China’s finest.
“Amanda Lemos is very tough,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “Her striking is very, very hard. If Weili doesn’t be careful, doesn’t take her down, or doesn’t work well with her jiu-jitsu, I believe Lemos becomes the new champion because of the power she has. She’s very, very strong.
“I’ve fought both, I got hit hard by both,” she laughed, “and I’ll tell you this: Lemos hits harder than Weili. If Weili doesn’t use the right strategy and work on the ground, finds the timing to shoot for takedowns, it will end badly for her.”
Lemos has been a consummate finisher since dropping to Strawweight from Bantamweight in Dec. 2019. Nearly perfect in her eight bouts at 115 pounds (7-1, 13-2-1 overall), the 36-year-old Belem, Brazil native has won all but two of those by finish, scoring three technical knockouts and two submissions.
Since suffering the second loss of her career to Andrade, Lemos has finished perennial top 10 contenders, Michelle Waterson-Gomez (watch highlights) and Marina Rodriguez (watch highlights), in succession. While she’s never gone past round three in her career, the Zhang title fight will be Lemos’ first time in a fight scheduled for five rounds.
“This is my pick — I think Lemos wins,” Andrade said. “If it goes past the second or third rounds, Lemos wins. I don’t know if Lemos can do five rounds with Weili, she’s been doing this for a few years now, but in terms of power, if Weili doesn’t work against the fence and gets Lemos tired, it will definitely be a knockout in the second or third round.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 292 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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