MMA fans around the world got used to the UFC hosting massive events every week with big names stacked on every card. We definitely got spoiled in the last two years and we are not used to seeing small events like the one on Saturday – UFC Fight Night 219: Andrade vs Blanchfield. It is a fact that the upcoming card is mostly filled with unknown fighters and debutants. But the main event has a former champion and one of the main contenders in the respective division. Here are our Andrade vs Blanchfield predictions as well as a general main card analysis.
UFC VEGAS 69 FULL CARD PREDICTIONS
WILLIAM KNIGHT VS MARCIN PRACHNIO
William is a 34-year-old US fighter. He started his professional career in 2018. Knight spent his first 4 fights in the regional leagues of the United States and won an early victory in each. The bright puncher was invited to perform at Dana White's Contender Series show in August 2019. There he won by technical knockout 26 seconds before the end of the fight, but he was not offered a contract with the UFC.
Knight returned to second-rate promotions and fought 3 fights in 4 months: 2 wins and 1 loss. Again, these fights did not reach a decision. He twice knocked out opponents and once flew into a knockout himself. In September 2020, William again came to the Challenger Series, where he finished Cody Brundage in the middle of the 1st round and signed with the UFC.
William relies on knockout power and good boxing skills in the octagon. He has also been improving his grappling. Knight is able to compete with average wrestlers, he is always looking for an opportunity to dominate and break opponents with ground and pound.
William lacks technique. Investing in a potential one-shot KO, he throws out sweeping and long punches, because of which a good striker will quickly read his attacks and move in time. Knight does not have good defense either. He can walk at an opponent with his hands down and catch punches with his chin.
Marcin is a 34-year-old fighter from Poland who started his professional career in 2013. Before moving to the UFC, Prachnio, in addition to performing in second-rate European promotions, was marked by fights in ONE. There he had 4 fights, and he won each.
With a record of 13-2, Marcin made his UFC debut in February 2018. His opponent was Sam Alvey, who knocked out the Pole in the 1st round. In September of the same year, Prachnio met with Magomed Ankalaev and again flew into a knockout in the 1st five-minute period. After that, Marcin took a break for almost 2 years.
The Pole returned to the octagon in August 2020. His opponent was Mike Rodriguez. Prachnio was knocked out in 2 minutes. Prahnio won his first UFC victory in January 2021 when he defeated Khalil Rountree by unanimous decision.
Marcin has a Kyokushin karate base. In this discipline, he had about 500 fights. Thanks to an impressive sports background, Marcin throws dangerous non-standard kicks on different levels. The fighter has impressive power. 10 out of 14 victories he won by knockouts.
The Pole has a weak jaw. He can't take serious damage and goes down after one solid hit. Prachnio is defenseless on the ground. Once on the canvas, the fighter becomes passive and tries to survive until the end of the round in order to rise to the rack.
KNIGHT VS PRACHNIO PREDICTION
Both fighters fearlessly go into close range and lower their arms during the attack. Considering both Prachnio and Knight have both knockout power and grip problems, there is a good chance the fight will end after the first successful stronger punch.
JIM MILLER VS ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ
Jim is a 39-year-old American fighter. He came to the UFC in 2008 and in 2011 was close to a title chance, but lost in a challenge match to Benson Henderson, which interrupted a streak of 7 victories in a row, and he never returned to the race for the belt.
Jim, despite his age, still looks competitive in the octagon. He comes with a series of 3 early wins in a row. In October 2021, Miller knocked out Erick Gonzalez with a crazy overhand and received an award for the best performance of the evening. Jim has a BJJ base. On the ground, he demonstrates tenacious control, backed up by high-quality ground and pound. As soon as Miller has the opportunity for a submission, he immediately implements it. I note Jim's good boxing and knockout power.
Miller began to lose his condition in 2016-2017. When a new generation of fighters came in who relied on versatility, quality grappling, and takedown defense, Jim began to lose due to his lack of clean wrestling and standing skills. Also, with age, Miller began to show drawdowns in cardio, began to move worse in the octagon, and does not always respond to dangerous opponent attacks.
Alexander is a 30-year-old fighter from the USA. He made his UFC debut in March 2018, coming into the fight against Beneil Dariush on short notice and knocking out his opponent in 48 seconds. In total, he spent 10 fights in the UFC: 5 won, 5 lost. Hernandez last fought in December 2022. His opponent was Billy Quarantillo. Alexander lost by KO/TKO in the 2nd round.
Hernandez is a versatile fighter who prefers to work on the stand. Thanks to good kickboxing skills, he combines knockout power with aggressive pressing, good combination work and good footwork. Alexander's base is freestyle wrestling. It is difficult for him to resist elite wrestlers, but he has no problems controlling average grapplers on the ground, scoring in ground and pound and taking positions from which he can perform different submissions.
All the defeats of the athlete occurred in the second half of the battle. Hernandez, not having outstanding cardio, does not seek to distribute forces, giving all his best in the first round in the hope of sweeping away his opponent.
MILLER VS HERNANDEZ PREDICTION
Miller is a far superior fighter despite his age and we expect a convincing victory ahead of schedule. Hernandez cannot decide which category he wants to fight in. He fought in Flyweight for the first time in 9 years in December 2022 and looked completely gassed after a terrible weight cut. Not, two months later, he will fight in Lightweight against a fighter who has lost a bit of his glamour over the last few years and will be motivated to win again.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 219: JESSICA ANDRADE VS ERIN BLANCHFIELD PREDICTIONS
Jessica Andrade is a 31-year-old athlete from Brazil. She made her UFC debut in July 2013 against Liz Carmouche. The Brazilian was knocked out in the 2nd round.
In 2017, Andrade, going on a series of 3 victories in a row, received the status of the main contender for the title of champion in the lowest weight. The fact was that the current dominant champion of those years, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, cleared the division, and there were no other contenders left. The title fight between Jedrzejczyk and Andrade took place in June 2017. The Pole defended her title, winning by unanimous decision. Failure in the championship fight did not break Andrade and she again went to the winstreak. Jessica again became the main contender for the title.
Her opponent was Rose Namajunas, an athlete who not only dethroned Joana Jedrzejczyk, but also confidently defended her title in an immediate rematch. The champion confidently held the 1st round, breaking the challenger in the standing position. But in the 2nd five-minute period, Andrade knocked out her opponent with an amplitude throw and won the title.
Jessica made her first title defense in August 2019. An athlete from China, Weili Zhang, became her rival. The challenger knocked out the champion in 42 seconds and won the belt. In July 2020, the matchmakers of the promotion arranged a rematch between Andrade and Namajunas 2. In the second match, Rose won by a split decision. After the second defeat in a row, Jessica decided to move up to the women's flyweight division.
Andrade's debut in the new weight took place in October 2020 in a duel against Katlyn Chookagian, whom the Brazilian knocked out in the 1st round. The victory over Chookagian made Jessica the main contender for the minimum weight belt. In April 2021, she entered the fight against Valentina Shevchenko and lost by technical knockout in the 2nd round. Jessica closed the defeat from Shevchenko in a fight against Cynthia Calvillo, whom she knocked out in the 1st round.
The main trump card of the Brazilian athlete is physical strength. She performs amplitude takedowns that can knock out an opponent. Jessica is invested in almost every hit, which allows her to inflict great damage on her opponents. Andrade has a black belt in BJJ and good ground skills: she easily takes a dominant position in order to work the ground and pound or find a submission.
Jessica lacks technique in the rack. She tries to win only at the expense of physical strength and goes forward without burdening herself with such technical actions as reconnaissance, deceptive movements, and pulling her opponent. For this reason, she lost to more technical rivals, whom she could not physically break.
Erin Blanchfield is a 22-year-old athlete from the USA. She started her professional career in 2018. Blanchfield spent most of her performances with the Invicta FC promotion. At this point in her career, Erin was up against some good opposition. She is now unbeaten in the UFC after destroying Molly McCann in November 2022.
Erin is a versatile fighter. At the beginning of her career, she showed a good wrestling base. She is excellent at taking opponents to the ground and controlling them there. The athlete has devastating ground and pound. She is able to both beat an opponent to a knockout, and cut her face before the fight is stopped by a doctor. I will note that Erin also has a black belt in BJJ, and I am sure that we will see submissions in her performances more than once.
In recent fights, Blanchfield has shown that she is working on improving her striking technique. She punches good combinations, works on different levels and moves well around the octagon. I note that the athlete has good cardio and impressive physical power, thanks to which she controls her opponents on the ground and in the clinch, and she can knock out with one hit.
ANDRADE VS BLANCHFIELD PREDICTION
This is a difficult one for a prediction. Blanchfield was supposed to fight Taila Santos but received a last-minute cancellation and will now meet Jessica Andrade – the former strawweight champion. While Blanchfield has a six-inch reach advantage, is higher, and far younger, we think that experience will help Andrade win this bout. Blanchfield is the brightest prospect in the division but she has never met anyone at this level.