UFC 300 Preview and Prediction: Jessica Andrade – Marina Rodriguez

Jan 21, 2023; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jessica Andrade (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight against Lauren Murphy (red gloves) during UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

On the prelims of UFC 300 a former world champion will take on a top contender and fellow Brazilian. Former strawweight champion and flyweight title challenger Jessica Andrade (25-12) returns to take on strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez (17-3-2).

Rodriguez will make the walk as the sixth ranked strawweight contender while Andrade comes in at fourth so whoever wins will be in the title picture at 115 pounds. For Rodriguez, she’ll be looking for her second straight win. The last time we saw her was back in September when she stopped Michelle Waterson-Gomez.

That was a much needed win for Rodriguez who had lost two in a row prior to that win. Rodriguez holds a win over UFC 300 title challenger Yan Xiaonan from 2022. After that win, Rodriguez had won four in a row which got her on the verge of a title shot. Then, she suffered back-to-back losses to Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba which really set her back.

Jessica Andrade walked in 2023 arguably being the top contender at both strawweight and flyweight. She brutalized Lauren Murphy last January and looked like a title shot was at her finger tips. Then, she took a short-notice fight against Erin Blanchfield and was finished. She then suffered back-to-back losses to Yan Xiaonan and Tatiana Suarez.

She bounced back strong with a knockout over Mackenzie Dern at UFC 295 and she needs to maintain the form she had that night if she wants to get back in the title picture.

UFC 300 Prediction

Marina Rodriguez is a sniper on the outside and she has incredibly good technique. We’ve seen Jessica Andrade struggle in the past with opponents who were longer and had better technique. She would struggle to get on the inside and use her power which is second-to-none in the strawweight division.

Rodriguez has the tools to get a decision win by out-pointing Andrade at UFC 300. However, there are a couple of things that really play to the former champ on Saturday. The physical strength advantage is going to be huge. If Andrade can get ahold of Rodriguez, she’s going to take her down unless Rodriguez has drastically improved her takedown defense.

Andrade can do a ton of damage to the body of Rodriguez if she chooses to target that. We’ve seen her finish opponents like the tough Katlyn Cerminara at 125 with body shots. If she mixes up her levels and mixes in some grappling, I really like her in this matchup. Rodriguez has the striking technique advantage at UFC 300, but I don’t think the power will be enough to get Andrade to stop walking through it. Give me the former champion and I think she gets a stoppage.

Prediction: Jessica Andrade by TKO – Round 2

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