We are back in the UFC Apex this weekend for a twelve-bout Fight Night card!
In the main event, top Strawweights collide when the streaking Marina Rodriguez takes on the always dangerous Amanda Lemos. In the co-main, Neil Magny meets Daniel Rodriguez in a Welterweight clash sure to entertain.
Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Lemos (SW)
After a knockout win on the Contender Series earned Marina Rodriguez (16-1-2, 6-1-2 UFC) a UFC contract, she went on a four-fight undefeated streak before losing a split decision to current champion Carla Esparza. She now finds herself on a four-fight win streak including a knockout victory over Amanda Ribas. Rodriguez has fantastic Muay Thai skills, keeping a high volume with excellent strike diversity. At 5’6″, she has a massive frame for the division and she uses every bit of that reach, managing distance expertly. Rodriguez can be controlled on the mat, though she sports solid takedown defense and finds her footing again rather quickly.
Amanda Lemos (12-2-1, 6-2 UFC) returned after over two years away from the cage to rattle off a five-fight win streak, including three first-round stoppages. She was submitted by Jessica Andrade in her last fight with a highlight reel standing arm triangle but rebounded with a guillotine choke over Michelle Waterson in her last outing. Lemos is dangerous wherever the fight goes with ten stoppages and seven knockouts on her resume. On the feet, she has heavy hands with great Thai boxing, mixing in powerful leg kicks. She is a submission threat on the mat, sporting stout takedown defense as well.
Though both have credentialed jiu-jitsu skills, I expect this bout to take place entirely on the feet. Lemos will come out strong, throwing heavy power and looking to get her pressure going. I expect the range management and outside footwork of Rodriguez to keep her out of danger while dishing out her own damage from kicking range. The main advantages of Rodriguez here are her superior cardio and fight IQ, which likely take over the longer the bout goes. I expect Marina to rack up volume from distance and in the clinch for a clear decision win, earning herself a title shot in the process.
My Pick: Marina Rodriguez via Decision
Neil Magny vs. Daniel Rodriguez (WW)
Veteran Neil Magny (26-9, 19-8 UFC) has proven he is still a top contender, going 5-2 following a nearly eighteen-month layoff. He is coming off a defeat to top prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov, looking to reassert himself in the rankings. Magny has a difficult skillset to face, utilizing his length expertly to land volume from range. On the mat, Magny has excellent control and pursues takedowns at a high rate, mixing in his full arsenal well. Daniel Rodriguez (17-2, 7-1 UFC) is now riding a four-fight win streak, claiming a controversial decision over Li Jingliang at UFC 279 less than two months ago. “D-Rod” has a slick boxing attack, keeping up a high volume and using his reach to land his hands. Rodriguez has slick jiu-jitsu, coming out of the 10th Planet system with terrific takedown defense, but can often be found with counters when sticking in the pocket.
I am expecting a fun clash here, with both bringing in tools to claim victory. Magny is a true veteran of the UFC and will look to ground Rodriguez, along with working his volume from range. Rodriguez will look to get on the inside of Magny’s kicks and make this a boxing match, where his superior hand speed can land power shots. The pressure of Magny should also prove effective, not allowing Rodriguez in his preferred range. I expect the wrestling of Magny to be the equalizer, winning control time on the ground and against the cage to edge a decision win.
My Pick: Neil Magny via Decision
Josh Parisian vs. Chase Sherman (HW)
My Pick: Chase Sherman via Knockout
Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Nate Maness (FLW)
My Pick: Tagir Ulanbekov via Decision
Mark O. Madsen vs. Grant Dawson (LW)
My Pick: Grant Dawson via Decision
The card goes live at 4 PM EST with the main card kicking off at 7 PM!