June 14, 2024
UFC Fight Night predictions — Jessica Andrade vs. Erin Blanchfield: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream

Erin Blanchfield has championship potential while Jessica Andrade has already reach the mountaintop. The two will compete in the main event at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas with the winner likely on the shortlist for a UFC title shot.

Andrade (24-9) is a gamer, pure and simple. The Brazilian is filling in for Taila Santos on seven days’ notice and less than a month after winning at UFC 283. Andrade has been on a warpath since losing her UFC women’s strawweight championship to Zhang Weili and falling short against women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. 

Andrade bounces between the two divisions at a whim to terrorize her fellow contenders. Andrade enters UFC Fight Night on a three-fight winning streak that includes a TKO of Cynthia Calvillo in Round 1, a submission of Amanda Lemos in a little over three minutes and a decision over Lauren Murphy where she outstruck her 237 to 100. Andrade hopes to fight Zhang for the strawweight title off a win against flyweight Blanchfield, weight classes be damned.

“I think that coming off four straight victories, I’m actually closer to facing [Zhang] Weili,” Andrade told reporters, through an interpreter, at media day on Wednesday.

“I went to China to face Weili. We can fight in Las Vegas, that be great, or anywhere in the United States, but this is second nature to her. She’s spent her time at the PI, she’s done camps here, so I want to take her out to Brazil because I went to China to face her. I want to move her out of her comfort zone. I went to her, so why not do it for me? But I want to stay at strawweight, I’ve said it all along. Again, four straight wins and coming off against a prospect, I think I will be considered over here for a really clear shot at Weili.”

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Blanchfield (10-1) hopes to use this fight as a launching pad to Shevchenko. Blanchfield went from unheralded contender to the real deal at UFC 281. Booed by the American crowd at Madison Square Garden in favor of the beloved scouser Molly McCann, Blanchfield made easy work. She ran over McCann like a freight train. An effortless takedown led to crucifix elbows and a nasty kimura lock, bending and torquing McCann’s arm at uncomfortable angles. It was a one-sided performance that introduced Blanchfield to a wider audience and cemented her as a potential world champion. Andrade presents an unexpected opportunity to live up to lofty expectations.

“She has a lot more fights than me or Taila,” Blanchfield said on Wednesday. “I think that’s the only reason why. She’s super tough. She’s different than Taila. But I don’t think it’s necessarily a bigger fight skill-wise. I think it might be bigger for people that know Andrade.

“I know what winning this fight means. If fighting for a title is next, I’ll do that. If they want me to fight someone else next, I’ll do that, too.”

Below is the rest of the fight card for Saturday night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before we get to a prediction and pick on the main event.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Jessica Andrade -135 Erin Blanchfield +115 Women’s flyweight
Zac Pauga -280 Jordan Wright +230 Light heavyweight
Jamal Pogues -260 Josh Parisian +210 Heavyweight
William Knight -120 Marcin Prachnio +100 Light heavyweight
Alexander Hernandez -235 Jim Miller +190 Lightweight

UFC Fight Night viewing information

Date: Feb. 18 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas, Nevada
TV channel: ESPN+

Prediction

Jessica Andrade vs. Erin Blanchfield: Blanchfield certainly has champion potential, but I fear Andrade may be too much too soon. Going from McMann to Andrade is an absurd leap in competition and Andrade is a force to be reckoned with right now. Andrade is physically very strong, has a low center of gravity, solid 73{b037f4174007d005f1ab9cb8d1aafc050eb5d7e8c07298e478acc145e540df6a} takedown defense and a great submission game. It is possible for someone physically imposing to ground Andrade. Shevchenko succeeded with seven of seven takedowns in a one-sided fight. Blanchfield averages four takedowns per 15 minutes. While Blanchfield doesn’t possess Shevchenko’s strength, she has a decorated EBI grappling background and does a great job of chaining takedowns. This will be imperative if she wants to ground Andrade. Blanchfield performs well with elbows and knees inside the clinch, but that’s a dangerous game to play with the stout and powerful Andrade. Particularly since Blanchfield is susceptible to counterstriking. I wonder how well Andrade’s stamina will hold up on short notice, but if her endurance is there, she certainly has more avenues to win the fight. Andrade via KO2

Who wins UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Blanchfield? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the expert who swept the UFC 283 main card last month, and find out.