UFC Vegas 52 Preview: Will Jessica Andrade be successful in strawweight return?

Aug 31, 2019; Shenzhen, China; Zhang Weili (blue gloves) and Jessica Andrade (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 52, the former strawweight champion is returning to 115 pounds. Former champion Jessica Andrade (22-9) is back after a brief run at flyweight to take on surging Brazilian contender Amanda Lemos (11-1-1).

Back in 2019 at UFC 237, Jessica Andrade became strawweight champion when she knocked out Rose Namajunas with slam. It was the crowning moment of her career. However, two straight losses after that forced a change in scenery.

She went up to 125 pounds and stopped top contender Katlyn Chookagian in the first round. That led to a title shot against Valentina Shevchenko and Andrade was dominated. She fought once more at 125 dominating Cynthia Calvillo and is now returning to the weight class where she was a UFC champion.

Standing her way is fellow Brazilian Amanda Lemos. Lemos entered the UFC unbeaten and lost her first fight by TKO to Leslie Smith. However, since then, she’s won five fights in a row including a controversial decision against Angela Hill which has led to this main event.

UFC Vegas 52 Prediction

I am actually a really big fan of the skillset of Amanda Lemos and I think she’s a very dangerous contender in the UFC’s strawweight division. She’s long with very technical and powerful strikes. However, there are also some drawbacks.

We’ve seen her cardio fade in three-round fights and we saw her struggle on the mat with Angela Hill. These are two things that can really come back to haunt her against Jessica Andrade. Andrade is one of the more powerful fighters in the UFC’s strawweight division.

With the amount of heat she can throw at Lemos, I’m not sure Lemos will be as technically sound tomorrow night. I think that is going to play a huge factor and it’s one of the reasons why I really like Andrade in this fight.

Andrade is going to mix it up with her strikes and grappling. When she’s striking, she’s also going to attack all three levels. Her well-roundedness, her power, and her cardio are going to lead to her getting a TKO win in her strawweight return at UFC Vegas 52.

Prediction: Jessica Andrade by TKO – Round 3