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 Pesagem oficial da lutadora MARINA RODRIGUEZ no UFC Fight Night, realizado no Gin·sio do Ibirapuera em Sao Paulo, na tarde desta sexta-feira, 21. Foto: Levi Bianco/Brazil Photo Press
Levi Bianco / BRAZIL PHOTO PRESS / Brazil Photo Press via AFP

A pair of strawweight mainstays will clash at Saturday’s UFC event in Las Vegas, as Marina Rodriguez meets Amanda Lemos in a pivotal five-round headliner. Check out our Rodriguez-Lemos picks ahead of the bill’s main event.

This battle of Brazilians could determine the challenger-in-waiting to the strawweight crown ahead of Carla Esparza’s title defense against Weili Zhang at next week’s UFC 281, as both fighters are coming off solid wins.

The streaking Rodriguez heads to Vegas on a four-fight win streak and was last seen edging Yan Xiaonan by split decision at UFC 272 in March. Lemos most recently rebounded from a loss to Jessica Andrade with a second-round tap out of Michelle Waterson in July. The former meets her fellow Brazilian with a promotional record of 6-1-2, with the latter boasting six wins and four stoppages in eight UFC showings.

Here are my Rodriguez-Lemos picks and predictions for Saturday’s marquee matchup (odds via Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Rodriguez vs. Lemos Fight Info

Date: Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV

Rodriguez vs. Lemos Odds

(via Caesars Sportsbook)

Moneyline: Rodriguez (-210) vs. Lemos (+175)
Over/Under: Over 4.5 rounds (-110) | Under 4.5 rounds (-120)

Rodriguez vs. Lemos Picks

  • To win: Rodriguez (-210 via Caesars)
  • Over/Under: Over 4.5 rounds (-104 via FanDuel)
  • Winning method: Rodriguez by decision (+160 via FanDuel)

Who Will Win Rodriguez vs. Lemos?

Rodriguez (-210) ★★★

The edge in raw punching power may lie with Lemos, but I’m siding with the superior technician in Rodriguez for Saturday’s closer.

Yes, Rodriguez struggled to keep up with a swifter Xiaonan in her last outing, but she won’t be saddled with such problems opposite Lemos. Indeed, I expect Lemos to apply pressure early, with the more methodical Rodriguez relying on her experience and Muay Thai stylings to find the timing on her counters before long and outstrike a game, yet fading Lemos for a fifth consecutive W.

Rodriguez vs. Lemos Over/Under

Over 4.5 rounds (-104) ★★★

All but one of Rodriguez’s nine UFC bouts have gone to the scorecards, and since she’s won her last three by decision - including two five-round headliners - it seems only natural to pick the over here.

Granted, Lemos’ scraps usually end early, as six of her eight UFC clashes haven’t required the judges’ participation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she chooses to grind Rodriguez out instead of trading leather, which only bolsters the chances of a longer main event.

No matter which of these Brazilians comes out on top, I expect them to determine the superior bruiser well into the championship rounds, at the minimum.

Rodriguez vs. Lemos Winning Method

Rodriguez by decision (+160) ★★★

Unlike her opponent, Rodriguez has gone five rounds in the Octagon and emerged victorious on both occasions. Given her recent experience in headlining spots and her five decision victories in six UFC wins, I’m going with another one on points for Rodriguez.

Lemos poses a substantial threat on the feet, but she does her best flurrying in the early rounds, and I trust Rodriguez to bide her time and let her foe fizzle out. Once this matchup makes it out of the second stanza, look for Rodriguez to put Lemos on the back foot, open up with combinations, and ride her varied arsenal to a nod on the scorecards.

Where to Bet on Rodriguez-Lemos Picks

  Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:  

Rodriguez-Lemos picks made 11/4/2022 at 1:13 a.m. ET