UFC Fight Night Picks: Namajunas vs. VanZant Betting Odds & Analysis

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, December 3, 2015 4:25 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 4:25 PM UTC

Women’s strawweights take center stage as up-and-comer Paige VanZant takes on No. 3 ranked Rose Namajunas at UFC Fight Night December 10th. Let’s look at what the UFC odds makers are offering.

Rose Namajunas (4-2, 0 KO’s, 4 Subs)
Rose Namajunas holds a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do yet her claim to fame has been her stunning submissions. She executed an absolutely jaw-dropping flying armbar on Kathina Catron in April of 2013 when fighting under the Invicta FC banner which resulted in a first-round 12 second tap out of her strawweight opponent. That turned into the 2013 Submission of the Year but was followed by consecutive losses to Tecia Torres (unanimous decision) and Carla Esparaza (submission via rear naked choke), the latter her first match inside the Octagon under the UFC organization.

However, the 23-year-old native of Milwaukee would not stay down for long as she once again reverted to her old standby submission skills to deliver an expertly locked standing rear-naked choke over Angela Hill in the opening round of their battle at UFC 192 in October. Namajunas prefers to use her striking skills to set up her submissions whether it is by front kicks, ax kicks or roundhouses. She will need to employ all of her skills if she is to defeat the talented Paige VanZant.


Paige VanZant (6-1, 1 KO, 2 Subs)
Her father coined her nickname “12 Gauge” and the 21-year-old blond, beauty from the backwoods of Dayton, Oregon has lived up to that name with a relentless style inside the Octagon. Tecia Torres is the only woman to beat her and that came via a unanimous decision at Invicta FC 4 in January of ’13. But that has been the lone blemish on her record as she ascends the UFC rankings and appears poised for a title shot if she can add Rose Namajunas to her hit list.

VanZant’s game has evolved to the point where she is no longer just a dirty boxer who locks up in the clinch to deliver knees, elbows and short uppercuts. She is now far more adept at her submission game as evidenced by her rear-naked choke of Courtney Himes and most recently a third round armbar victory over Alex Chambers at UFC 191 in September. She has been training under the tutelage of Team Alpha Male and now holds a blue belt in BJJ. VanZant’s striking to set up the submission is similar to her opponent Rose Namajunas and the fighter who does it better will ultimately come out on top.


UFC Pick
The UFC odds makers have made Van Zant a favorite in this one due primarily to her pedigree in training with Team Alpha Male and her formal indoctrination into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Stylistically these women are, if not mirror images, certainly very similar which should make for an interesting contest. Both have lost to a common opponent in Tecia Torres and both by decision. However, it’s important to note the class of fighters the women have fought and what they have done recently.

One element that stands out is VanZant’s TKO victory over Kailin Curran in the third round of their November 22nd, 2014 match that proved to be the Fight of the Night. VanZant is a stalker who likes to clinch and inflict damage short range while Namajunas likes to come forward and will welcome an all-out brawl with VanZant. The proof in the pudding will be whose submission game is superior as both are blue belts in BJJ and are equally adept at tapping their opponents out.

After reviewing both fighters and determining who to include in our UFC picks I am leaning towards VanZant based on nothing more than her world class training at Team Alpha Male and her relentless cardio. This is a match that will educate us on both fighters for future bouts but I believe VanZant is the more polished fighter at this point in their respective careers.

UFC Pick: Play VanZant -183 at Pinnacle

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