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UFC Fight Night 157 preview and picks

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August 29th, 2019

Jessica Andrade will defend her title against Weili Zhang and Elizeu Dos Santos will face off against Li Jingliang in a welterweight clash, as UFC Fight Night 157 comes live from the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre in China on Saturday.

Jessica Andrade (-175) vs. Weili Zhang (+145)

Pick: Jessica Andrade

Off of her knockout slam of Rose Namajunas in her title-winning effort, Jessica Andrade’s first defense of her strawweight title comes against top-ranked contender Weili Zhang. Though Andrade had to survive some murky moments ahead of her title win, Zhang has yet to prove her effectiveness against top-tier competition, despite her ranking.
Andrade is a physically imposing fighter who is a calculated and active striker, whereas Zhang is best when she can outwork her opponents. Andrade is going to stick to her bread and butter, unless Zhang can stunt her forward progress with takedowns and smart inside work.

Zhang doesn’t have the power or style to make Andrade respect her but should fight carefully enough to not get blown up early. Once Andrade gets a feel for her offense, she’ll start to open up with big shots. Zhang will take a progressive amount of punishment before she finally falls in the fourth round.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (-265) vs. Li Jingliang (+210)

Pick: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

The gap in skill and opposition faced largely favors dos Santos. Jingliang is going to have to hope he catches dos Santos with something big almost right away. If not dos Santos will beat him down for an early stoppage.

Kai Kara-France (-205) vs. Mark De La Rosa (+165)

Pick: Kai Kara-France

These two flyweights are trying to hold their position as middle-of-the-pack fighters, with neither Kara-France or De La Rosa showing enough polish to make a run at the top. Kara-France has more to offer here and should edge De La Rosa.

Movsar Evloev (-715) vs. Lu Zhenhong (+485)

Pick: Movsar Evloev

A rematch of their 2016 M-1 clash, Zhenhong will look to establish another winning streak at his former conqueror’s expense. Evloev soundly defeated him the first time and Zhenhong hasn’t shown much growth since to suggest anything other than another decision loss.

Mizuki Inoue (-140) vs. Yanan Wu (+115)

Pick: Mizuki Inoue

This is a step up in class for Inoue, but her strong kickboxing background and speed will give Wu fits. Inoue should outwork Wu and win a decision.




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