UFC Vegas 26: Michelle Waterson vs Marina Rodriguez Picks, Odds, and Predictions

UFC Vegas 26: Michelle Waterson vs Marina Rodriguez Picks, Odds, and Predictions Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson

Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10:00 PM (UFC Apex)

The Line: Michelle Waterson +180 / Marina Rodriguez -210 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson fight Saturday in UFC Vegas 26 at the UFC Apex.

Marina Rodriguez enters this fight with a 13-1-2 record and has won 46 percent of her fights by knockout. Rodriguez has split her last six fights and is coming off a January win over Amanda Ribas. Rodriguez is averaging 4.86 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Rodriguez is averaging 0.36 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Rodriguez is coming off a second round knockout at UFC 257 where she won performance of the night honors. In the victory, Rodriguez landed 26 total strikes and 41 percent of her significant strikes. Rodriguez has now produced knockouts in two of her last four wins. Rodriguez is a great athlete who grew up playing all sorts of sports, and she’s a purple belt in BJJ and a dark blue belt in Muay Thai. Rodriguez is a lengthy fighter who can throw some impressive overhands, and she loves mixing in leg kicks. Rodriguez is aggressive with her knees in the clinch and has good takedown defense. Rodriguez usually gets the fight where she wants it and is aggressive with her attack, mainly her kicks. This will be Rodriguez’s second career fight in Las Vegas.

Michelle Waterson enters this fight with a 18-8 record and has won 50 percent of her fights by submission. Waterson has split her last eight fights and is coming off a September win over Angela Hill. Waterson is averaging 3.58 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Waterson is averaging 1.52 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 34 percent. Waterson is coming off a split decision win at UFC Vegas 10, where she landed 162 total strikes and produced a takedown. The bout earned fight of the night honors and Waterson has now seen each of her last seven fights go the distance. Waterson is a super athletic fighter with a black belt in karate and a background in kickboxing, so leg kicks are a huge part of her game and she’s extremely quick and accurate. Waterson doesn’t have a lot of power in her hands, but she’s very flexible and can land a knockout with her legs if her opponent gets caught slipping. Waterson is also highly successful with her takedown attempts and has nine career submission victories, and she has solid takedown defense. At now 35 years old, it’s key Waterson takes advantage of fights like this to put her back in the title conversation. This will be Waterson’s fourth career fight in Las Vegas.

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Rodriguez probably should be the favorite here, as she’s been more consistent lately, has a serious size advantage and has more pop behind her standup striking. However, Waterson has an athletic advantage, has the better gas tank and the better takedown defense. Waterson has also been kind to bettors in the past being in the underdog role and outside of her fight against Joanna Jędrzejczyk, she’s made all of her recent bouts competitive. Waterson is going to give you a chance to cash your ticket.

Give me the plus money and Waterson in an upset.  

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Randy’s Pick Michelle Waterson +180

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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