UFC 292 Prediction: Weili vs Lemos: Strawweight Strap Scrap!



UFC 292 Prediction: Weili vs Lemos: Strawweight Strap Scrap!

The UFC is, indeed, shipping up to Boston! This weekend, the UFC is back, and with one hell of a bang. UFC 292 comes to us live from the legendary TD Garden in Boston, MA this weekend, with an epic bantamweight title fight between Aljamain “Funkmaster” Sterling and “Suga” Sean O'Malley. Here, though, we are offering our prediction and breakdown for the epic co-main event of this fight; a strawweight scrap between Zhang Weili and Amanda Lemos! Read on below to find our official prediction for this epic co-main event!

Zhang Weili: Chinese Champ on the Charge

Zhang Weili is easily one of the most exciting champions in any weight class (male or female) in the UFC today.

The two-time strawweight champion is once again back on a marauding run of form. She is coming into her second title defence of her second title reign off the back of a sensational TKO win over former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, as well as a brutal submission win over Carla Esparza. In truth, since she lost her title to Rose Namajunas (as well as the rematch in a VERY tight split decision loss), “Magnum” has looked unbelievably good. If anything, she actually somehow looks like she has grown and developed from those two losses.

Weili Zhang is looking as good as any women's champion has in recent UFC history. She looks supremely relaxed and confident every time she steps in the octagon, and she does have every right to be. She will be walking into Boston with a supreme level of confidence, and to be fair, nobody could blame her.

Amanda Lemos: A Very Challenging Challenger

Amanda Lemos is a veteran of the fight game, but she is very much the newest threat to Zhang Weili's strawweight throne.

What sets Amanda Lemos apart from quite a lot of fighters in her division is that she is an electric, dynamic and violent finisher. She very, very rarely finds herself relying on the judges by fight's end. Like the champion, Lemos is also coming into Boston riding not a horse (little history joke there), but a two fight winning streak. Her win over Michelle Waterson-Gomez came via a nasty guillotine choke, and her latest win over Marina Rodriguez came via some violent hooks. Zhang Weili needs to be very careful in this fight, because Amanda Lemos is here to win.

Zhang Weili: Path to Victory: Violence and Variety

Zhang Weili's path(s) to victory in this fight are paths that are pretty well established. She is such a good, all-round fighter that variety is her biggest ally.

For example – take both fights against Joanna. Joanna is widely considered to be one of the greatest women's fighters of all time, and her stand-up fighting skills are nothing short of legendary. Weili was able to match her stride for stride, and even better her in some exchanges. In their second fight, it wasn't even close, as Weili absolutely blew her away. That is how good of a fighter Zhang Weili is.

Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jędrzejczyk Revisted | UFC

Zhang Weili proved how phenomenal her striking was in being able to go toe-to-toe with Joanna Jedrzejczyk. (Image Credit: UFC)

By contrast, consider Weili's most recent win over Carla Esparza. Her seamless ability to transition from dominant position to the armbar that eventually finished Esparza showcased just how phenomenally talented Weili is. She can truly fight anywhere, and is more than confident regardless of where the fight ultimately ends up.

I do think that in this fight, Weili might be more inclined to keep this fight on the feet. Her right hand is sickeningly powerful when it lands, and her footwork and speed are little short of amazing. My prediction is that if she is able to set the tempo and dictate the rhythm of this fight early on, then Amanda Lemos might struggle keeping up with her.

Amanda Lemos: Path to Victory: Trust the Skillset

Amanda Lemos is a very similar fighter to Zhang Weili because, like Weili, Lemos is a very well-rounded fighter, and she is more than capable of ending the fight in a variety of ways.

UFC 292 breakdown: Zhang Weili is a big betting favorite over Amanda Lemos.  Is it justified?

Amanda Lemos has proven her skillset variety, especially when she pulled off a nasty guillotine choke over Michelle Waterson-Gomez. (Image Credit: Yahoo Sports)

The only physical statistic that separates these two fighters is the difference in reach. Lemos enjoys a 65″ reach, compared to Weili's 63″. A two inch reach advantage might not be the biggest difference in the world, but in a fight with such fine margins as this, it could be the difference between victory and defeat. Lemos has shown before that her jab can be extraordinarily effective. If she is able to keep Weili at range and frustrate her, she might be able to draw Weili into overcommitting and being able to catch her coming in. My prediction is that this is Amanda Lemos' best path to victory in this fight.

Official Prediction: Weili to Win Again

My prediction, first and foremost, is that this fight is going to be closer than people think.

Amanda Lemos, to her immense credit, has proven that she can be a very difficult puzzle to solve. She has proven that she has a multitude of weapons that she is capable of deploying at any given time, and is just an all-round amazingly well-rounded mixed martial artist. The fact that she finds herself in the position of being the biggest current threat to Weili is nothing but a fantastic testament to just how good Amanda Lemos is.

Zhang Weili Becomes China's First Champion | Breaking Barriers | UFC

My prediction is that Zhang Weili will be celebrating another successful title defence on Saturday night in Boston, MA. (Image Credit: UFC)

HOWEVER – Zhang Weili is just such a dynamic and explosive fighter that I can't make a prediction against her. She carries such a threat of just being able to detonate that right hand at any given time, and that tends to play on the mind of her opponents a lot, and rightfully so.

I am making the prediction that this contest will actually be a very entertaining firefight, but Weili loves being involved in firefights, mostly because she tends to get the best of them. My concern for Amanda Lemos is really how she copes with Weili's power. I think that if Weili connects with a solid right hand, then it might just be too much for Lemos (similar to the Jessica Andrade fight, in a way).

My official prediction is that Zhang Weili retains her strawweight throne via second round TKO.

[Scratches record] Yeah, that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up here...or not. My name's Keelin McNamara, and I am an AVID combat sports fan. Always have been, and probably always will be. I started writing and podcasting about MMA in the Summer of 2020 (yeah, we don't talk about that here either). I've been doing it ever since, and have loved every single minute of it! Thanks for checking out whatever it is you're reading - I hope you enjoy it!