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UFC 228: Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz Betting Prediction

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

In a pivotal bout for the UFC’s stacked women’s strawweight division, Brazilian pressure fighter, Jessica Andrade, takes on Polish striker, Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Which contender will get their hand raised in Dallas, Texas, on September 8?

A Savage Pitbull

Often compared to her compatriot, John Lineker, the fan favorite Jessica Andrade does not have a reverse gear. Always moving forward, Andrade likes to rip the body and head with hooks before going for takedowns.

Against one of the best grapplers in women’s MMA, Claudia Gadelha, Andrade scored a stunning upset victory by taking her opponent down numerous times and pulverizing her with ground strikes. Gadelha is not easy to outmuscle - this indicates Andrade really is as strong as she looks.

The Brazilian isn’t the cleanest striker and leaves holes defensively, but typically she’s able to march forward and have her way with opponents. Against lightning fast contender, Tecia Torres, Andrade had to eat some shots at range during the early stages of the fight. Inevitably, Andrade closed the distance and got her wrestling going - which won her the contest.

Against Kowalkiewicz, you can expect Andrade to have her foot on the gas from the second the fight starts.

Polish Muay Thai

Coming from an amateur Muay Thai background, Karolina Kowalkiewicz is one of the best strikers in the division. The former champion, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, is the only woman to get the better of Karolina on the feet.

Loved by the fans for her gentle demeanor outside the cage, the “Polish Princess” throws crisp straight punches at range and is effective in the clinch with her knees and elbows. If this were a Muay Thai match, Karolina would have the advantage.

Against Claudia Gadelha, Karolina found success in the striking exchanges, but as soon as her opponent secured underhooks - she was dragged to the mat and submitted.

In her fight with Felice Herrig, Karolina looked like she’s been working on her grappling. However, she’s facing an entirely different beast in Jessica Andrade.

If she can maintain distance, the Polish fighter should be able to land the cleaner shots. That’s a tall order, though.

Who Wins?

The reason the betting lines are so wide is that, in my opinion, Karolina is going to struggle to keep Andrade off her.

Not blessed with concussive power, Karolina simply won’t be able to land anything that will deter the forward momentum of her opponent. Andrade has a good chin and won’t care if she has to eat a few punches while closing the distance.

Karolina will fire off elbows and knees in the clinch, but she’s going to absorb hooks and get taken down when the two fighters tie up. On the ground, Andrade will dish out significant punishment.

I feel square picking such a big favorite, but the price is warranted here. I believe Karolina will struggle with the pressure, physicality, and takedowns of Andrade.

Pick: Jessica Andrade -400

Check out my other UFC 228 betting predictions.

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