UFC Vegas 69: Andrade vs. Blanchfield Main Event Prediction
UFC VEGAS 69 – It always makes things a little more interesting when you get an established veteran who is still in their prime against a streaking, highly touted prospect.
We get to see whether that prospect is the real deal, whether they still need more time, or if they were a complete fraud to begin with.
Former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, steps in on a week’s notice to follow up her record-setting and record-tying performance in January when she pulverized Lauren Murphy over 15 minutes.
Erin Blanchfield gets the step up in competition she was looking for as well as a main event slot to prove to the world that her hype is warranted.
Will the hard-hitting style of Andrade be too much? Or will Blanchfield pull off the upset and set herself up for a title shot in her next fight? Read on to find out how these fighters match up and if there are any betting opportunities to take advantage of.
In her last performance against Lauren Murphy, Andrade tied Amanda Nunes for most wins in women’s UFC history at 15. She also broke the women’s flyweight record for most significant strikes landed in a fight (231).
That performance showcased that she can still compete at a high level and we should consider her as a possible title contender, especially with the way she’s been defeating her opponents as of late. She’s riding a three-fight winning streak while dominating almost every minute of those fights, finishing two of them.
Since making her UFC debut, her style hasn’t changed much but she has improved the effectiveness of it. She crashes the pocket with big combinations that slowly breaks down her opponents.
If she’s really on, she can finish her opponents in the opening round. However, she has no issue going to a decision while keeping up the effectiveness of her game.
If she feels she can dominate you on the mat, she’ll use her strength to get you to the ground. Maybe not the most technical takedowns, but she can take you down.
It’s wild to think she is still only 31 because she is coming up on 10 years of being with the UFC. She’s faced almost any and all notable women between the strawweight and flyweight division, seeing all different styles during that time.
Since 2015 she has only lost four times. Three of those were in title fights and the other was her non-title rematch against former champion, Rose Namajunas. She only loses to the top of the division.
With her only loss coming in her fourth professional fight against another highly touted prospect (Tracy Cortez), Blanchfield is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak with four of those coming in the UFC.
Most recently she dispatched of Molly McCann with ease back in November. The interesting aspect of that fight was the crowd! They were booing her even though she was from the area.
I think they quickly realized they were dead wrong to do so, even if it was so they could cheer for the fighter hailing from Ireland. They now notice they have a fighter with a very bright future they could be cheering on.
Blanchfield does her best work on the mat when she can land takedowns. Her striking is above average, but could still use a little polishing.
Many people took notice of her with how she managed to muzzle and dominate Miranda Maverick over 15 minutes. In that fight, she landed seven takedowns and controlled her for 12 minutes. Maverick had no answer for that style.
The fight that has given people some hesitation was her win against Aldrich. Aldrich was controlling that fight with her striking and denying all four of Blanchfield’s takedown attempts. It was an opportune guillotine choke that Blanchfield wrapped up on the feet to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, although she still had another 7.5 minutes to try and turn things around.
It seemed like Aldrich’s striking and movement was causing Blanchfield issues.
Blanchfield is still undefeated and showcases solid potential, the question is can she do it against a former champion too?
Andrade opened around the -190 mark when this fight was announced, and it seems the Blanchfield love has come in because Andrade now sits at -150.
I get the hype and respect around the Blanchfield name, but I have questions about when she faces a stronger fighter with better striking.
Although Andrade’s striking could use work from a technical perspective, she’s utilized it so effectively through her career that it’s gotten her to the top of her division multiple times.
Usually the best way to beat Andrade is have slick, technical striking and movement. I don’t see that from Blanchfield.
Or the fighter needs to be very strong, much larger, and a great technical wrestler like Shevchenko was. Blanchfield is closer to that archetype.
I’ve been going back and forth about this pick as the week has drawn on, but I still lean on the Andrade side. I believe that her striking will end up being too much for Blanchfield.
As the rounds and damage start to add up, I think we see Andrade finish her in the main event rounds. The total is perfect being set at 3.5, although I’d consider an alternate total of over 2.5 if you have the option.
Jessica Andrade (-140)
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