Women’s StrawweightJessica Andrade (17-6) vs. Tecia Torres (10-1)
ODDS: Andrade (-300), Torres (+250)
ANALYSIS: Former UFC title challenger Andrade is the second-biggest favorite on this fight card, but do not let that fool you: Both of these strawweights are elite talents, and this fight may prove much more competitive than the betting line suggests.
Admittedly, there is some rationale behind the odds, as Andrade’s standard operation stands to counteract and thwart Torres’ greatest strength. The 28-year-old Torres is an outstanding athlete, blessed with exceptional speed and strength, but Andrade, a former bantamweight, is an absolute physical monster. Torres, an American Top Team product, relies on her karate and taekwondo background to land speedy, accurate combinations of punches and kicks at a 50 percent clip, but again, Andrade is such a brute that she can simply march through her opponent’s combinations to land her own clubbing hooks and uppercuts; “Bate Estaca” may eat 4.98 significant strikes per minute, but she lands 6.45 of her own, doing so with the most power in the entire division.
Torres is not just a fleet distance striker, as she has proven effective at using her footwork to trap her opponents on the cage, clinching them and landing volleys of strikes inside. Unfortunately, that seems like a fool’s errand against the Brazilian, who averages 2.5 takedowns per 15 minutes and is capable of positively vicious ground-and-pound, as evidenced in her last outing in September, when she put another physical freak, Claudia Gadelha, on the floor in the second and third rounds, destroying her countrywoman with back-to-back 10-8 frames.
Suffice to say, Torres will need to use her footwork to its fullest extent to kick and quickly counterpunch, which was the recipe Joanna Jedrzejcyk used to dominate Andrade nine months ago. This will be an incredibly difficult task but not necessarily an insurmountable one.
Nonetheless, Andrade is a She-Hulk. The most likely outcome is that she will walk down Torres, trap her and smack her around before putting “The Tiny Tornado” on the mat and assaulting her. The Parana Vale Tudo fighter is the most powerful finisher at 115 pounds, so a stoppage is more possible than usual, but Torres’ athletic gifts should allow her to last 15 minutes, even if they mostly consist of taking damage. Andrade by impressive decision is the pick.
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