UFC Futures: Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade Opening Odds Reactions

The opening odds for the upcoming UFC women’s strawweight title fight between champion Rose Namajunas and challenger Jessica Andrade were recently released by the offshore sportsbooks. This is one of the best women’s MMA fights in quite some time, and worth examining in greater detail.

UFC Futures Opening Odds

Rose Namajunas -140
Jessica Andrade +100

Here are my initial thoughts on the bout, and on the odds:

This is going to be a fantastic fight for the women’s strawweight title that Namajunas currently holds. Just to note, but this Namajunas vs. Andrade bout has not been officially booked yet, though it’s almost certainly going to be the next title fight barring injury as Andrade is absolutely the next in line to fight for the belt currently held by “Thug.”

Namajunas (8-3) has made a miraculous leap from prospect to champion in a short amount of time. The 25-year-old American began her pro career in Invicta FC in 2013 and went 2-1 there before the UFC took notice and recruited her for The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned. Namajunas went on the show and ran the table by taking out Alex Chambers, Joannae Calderwood and Randa Markos by submission and earning herself a title fight against Carla Esparza for the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight title. Namajunas was dominated by Carla Esparza in her official UFC debut, but she learned a lot from that loss. “Thug” rebounded quickl with three-straight wins in the UFC over Angela Hill, Paige VanZant and Tecia Torres before losing a split decision to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a title eliminator. A submissiom win over Michelle Waterson put Namajunas back in title contention, and as a giant underdog she shocked the MMA world and beat the odds with her brutal KO over then-champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217. She then proved the doubters wrong when she beat Jedrzejczyk for a second time at UFC 223. Namajunas is an incredible fighter and is only getting better. She is extremely durable, she has great finishing instincts on the ground and on the feet, and she has the attitude of a champion. Considering her young age, she could be destined to hold her strawweight title for a very long time.

Andrade (18-6) is one of the top female strawweights in the world. The 26-year-old native of Brazil is 9-4 in the UFC and has really excelled since moving down from 135lbs to 115lbs. Since moving to strawweight, Andrade is 5-1 with wins over Torres, Claudia Gadelha, Hill, Calderwood and Jessica Penne, with her lone loss at the weight class coming against Jedrzejczyk. She is a volume-type striker who throws caution to the win and she packs a punch in her strike. She has also shown in recent bouts her physical strength, particualrly in the fight against Gadelha where she absolutely ragdolled her opponent in a big upset. However, we have also seen her lose when she gets put on the backfoot, and Namajunas is a figher that constantly is walking forward. Andrade earned this title shot, but it may be a bit more than she could chew. She has looked terrific as of late, but Namajunas is the best fighter in the division right now. I think women’s strawweight is the right weight class for Andrade, but even if she loses this title fight, she could always move back up to the new women’s flyweight division, so win or loss, Andrade is in a good situation.

I love this fight, but I have a hard time going against Namajunas against anyone in the women’s strawweight division. Especially at this cheap price I find it hard not to like the champion to defend her belt. As good as Andrade has looked in her last few fights, Namajunas has looked even better. Andrade is an amazing volume striker but Namajunas has more pure knockout power and can hold her own on the feet. And on the ground, Namajunas is superior as well. Andrade absolutely could use a volume-style gameplan to frustrate Namajunas on the feet, but I feel like Namajunas has more ways to win this fight, and I believe she should be a bigger favorite here. There looks to be good value on Namajunas at this short favorite price, and it will be interesting to see how the lines moves.

Written by Adam Martin.

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