UFC Fight Night 61 Play: Jessica Andrade (-245) vs Marion Reneau (+205)

Marion-ReneauUFC Fight Night 61 Date: February 22, 2014 Arena: Gigantinho Gymnasium City: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil Women’s Bantamweight bout: Jessica Andrade (-245) vs Marion Reneau (+205) Fight Breakdown: Headlining the preliminary card for UFC Fight Night 61 in Brazil will be a women’s bantamweight contest between Brazilian 23-year old Jessica Andrade and Californian 37-year old Marion Reneau. The youngster Andrade is the betting favorite at -245 ($245 to win $100), with her elder Reneau being a +205 ($100 to win $205) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Jessica Andrade (12-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 51 five months ago, where she defeated undefeated promotional newcomer Larissa Pacheco via guillotine choke submission in the very first round of action, marking her first win by finish inside the Octagon. Now on a three fight winning streak following a first round TKO against Liz Carmouche in her promotional debut, Andrade will be looking to make it four in a row against the 37-year old Reneau. The 23-year old is a resilient fighter who can take punishment and dish it out. She is always determined, hungry and game for war. While not the most technically sound striker, she has been showing solid improvements on the feet on a fight-to-fight basis. She is developing some good Muay Thai skills and packs a lot of power in her strikes. Andrade is also a threat on the mat, as she possesses a very good submission game and has arguably the best guillotine choke in the division. Six of her 12 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come inside the distance and five of them have been via guillotine choke. She works pretty good takedowns, as well, and is quite dominant from top position, which was evident in her last outing against Pacheco. Despite having gone the three round distance only twice in her professional mixed martial arts career, the Brazilian has displayed good cardio and has walked away the victor on both occasions. I expect her to be in shape and ready for a three round war, should this women’s 135-pound scrap hit the judges’ scorecards. Marion Reneau (5-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made her promotional debut on short notice against Alexis Dufresne at UFC 182 just last month and defeated her via a completely one-sided unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. It marked the first time she has gone the three round distance in her six-fight professional mixed martial arts career and was an impressive debut for Reneau, who will be looking for another upset, this time against a Brazilian on enemy territory in Brazil. At 37-year of age, Reneau is the oldest fighter in her division, though she looks and fights more like a 27-year old who is in her prime. Her striking skill-set is all-around tremendous. She is very fluid on her feet; she’s quick, has excellent footwork and noteworthy head movement. Her striking defense is solid. Reneau is very talented with her offensive striking, but she is also an excellent counter-striker and has a great counter-right. She also has a beautiful kicking game and delivers heavy leg-kicks, as well as a nice switch-kick. The Californian works a nice jab, throws vicious uppercuts and likes to implement her knees, especially when pressing opponents against the cage. She has great speed, tremendous cardio and excellent timing on the feet. Reneau has a great overhand right, and her straight-right is just as noteworthy. She puts together a number of very nice combinations on the feet, including some solid 1-2’s. She does a very good job of mixing it up, attacking the body as well as scoring with head-shots. She is an aggressive fighter who throws hard and in high volume. To compliment her striking, Reneau has pretty good takedown defense and uses it to keep her fights standing, though she is not afraid to go to the mat, as she possesses a solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game. Gabe’s Thoughts: Reneau will be enjoying advantages of four inches in height and six inches in reach heading into this match-up, and if it stays standing, it could prove to benefit her over the course of 15-minutes when it’s left up to the judges’ to make the call. I think the biggest question mark is whether she will be able to keep the fight standing for at least two out for three rounds and outpoint Andrade without allowing her to steal rounds with takedowns. I am leaning with Reneau to score the upset and get a decision win in this match-up, and while I do think there is value in her at +205, I think the Over 2.5 rounds total at -260 is the safer play and I like it for a parlay. That would be my main play, but for a very small side-bet, I’ll take Reneau +205. Note: I will also be making a play on Reneau by Decision at near 4-to-1 underdog odds, so look forward to my ‘Prop Plays for UFC Fight Night 61 in Brazil’ article for that one. Gabe’s Call: Reneau by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Andrade/Reneau Over 2.5 rounds (-260) parlayed with Strickland/Ponzinibbio Over 2.5 rounds (-145) at +133 for 2.8u to win 3.75u and Reneau (+205) .25u to win .51u

Written by Gabe Killian

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