The UFC returns to ESPN this evening with another loaded free card for those who subscribe to the channel in one fashion or another. Originally supposed to be the main event between T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen, Dillashaw had to pull out due to an injury. Sandhagen followed suit to preserve the future matchup.
In their place will step two strawweight fighters in Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez, fighting this one at flyweight due to the short notice.
Will the late notice for both fighters serve as an advantage for one? Let’s take a closer look.
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Betting Profile: Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2)
Last Five Fights
Having just fought in January, Rodriguez comes into this one off of a brutal 2nd round knockout over Amanda Ribas that earned a Performance of the Night bonus. Having not won since August 2019 before that, Rodriguez hopefully regained the confidence she desperately needed ahead of this main event appearance.
A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a Dark blue with black tip belt in Muay Thai, Rodriguez can strike with the best of them. Coming into this fight, she is averaging 4.86 Strikes Landed per Min. (SLpM) inside the octagon.
Betting Profile: Michelle Waterson (18-8-0)
Last Five Fights
Like Rodriguez, Michelle Waterson will step into the octagon tonight following a win the last time she was inside it. Hers came in September in the form of a split decision win over Angela Hill, where she also served as the main event.
Also, like Rodriguez, Waterson is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist but adds a second twist as a black belt in American Freestyle Karate. With this mix of skills in the arsenal, Waterson excels at the takedown, averaging 1.52 per 15 minutes inside the octagon.
From a skill and recent form perspective, I see this fight as fairly even and am struggling to identify clearly why Rodriguez holds such a sizable advantage in the odds. If Waterson can make it out of the early rounds unscathed, I look for her endurance to win out and love the value it provides.
Pick: Michelle Waterson +172
Top Prop Bet
Despite this fight being in a separate weight class, they are still competing in the strawweight ranks, and the result here will undoubtedly reflect that in one form or another. With that, I expect both fighters to be cautious and for us to see the result land on the judge’s table.
Pick: Will the fight go the distance? – Yes (-210)
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The post UFC Fight Night: Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson Betting Guide appeared first on BettingPros.