Betting Advice, Analysis for UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs Blanchfield
After another PPV event in 2023, the UFC returns to the Apex this Saturday with a Fight Night card that could establish the next contender at women’s flyweight, as Jessica Andrade takes on Erin Blanchfield.
There are four other fights on the main card, and here are our UFC picks for this weekend.
Jessica Andrade vs. Erin Blanchfield
One of the sport's most promising rising stars is back in action after only four months since another win in the UFC with Blanchfield looking to rocket into the top three of the women’s flyweight rankings by beating a former champion.
Blanchfield has been faultless since coming into the UFC in 2021. She eased past Sarah Alpar before a win against Miranda Maverick at UFC 269. The 23-year-old then beat JJ Aldrich and submitted the in-form Molly McCann to push her into No. 10 in the women’s rankings and with a chance to earn herself a title shot already.
In her MMA career, Blanchfield has only lost to a fellow title contender, Tracy Cortez. However, this came four years ago and was in Invicta and not the UFC, as the American now sits on a seven-fight winning run.
Andrade has been excellent since losing her first shot at the flyweight title back in April 2021. The former strawweight champion defeated Cynthia Calvillo in the first round via TKO just a few months later. She then went on to submit Amanda Lemos in her return to strawweight. Now back at flyweight, Andrade heads into this fight without a month passing since her unanimous decision win over Lauren Murphy.
Andrade may be the favorite, but we think this could be the breakout performance from Blanchfield that earns her a shot at the title.
Erin Blanchfield to win by submission or decision is +180 with DraftKings.
Jordan Wright vs. Zac Pauga
At 34, Zac Pauga is entering his biggest fight in his short MMA career, with a win over Jordan Wright set to put him on the UFC light heavyweight map.
The American has spent the past three years of his career in LFA and Cage Warriors, with his debut in MMA coming back in 2020. He then went on to amass a 4-0 record before winning two fights on The Ultimate Fighter in what goes down as exhibition bouts.
Pauga would then lose to Mohammed Usman on his debut in the UFC in August of last year and it now makes this fight the biggest in his three-year career.
Although it is such a big fight for Pauga because of a loss on his debut, this fight could also end up being the decisive one for the future of Wright in the UFC. At 31, Wright has won just two of his six fights in the organization and is now on a three-fight losing run.
Duško Todorović TKO'd him back in October, while Marc-André Barriault submitted him in the first round last April. Bruno Silva also knocked him out just before that loss, and Wright's only wins in the past three years have come via TKO over Jamie Pickett and Ike Villanueva.
It seems all signs in this one point towards a win for Pauga, and we’re backing him to get the job done via knockout.
Zac Pauga to win by KO/TKO/DQ is -135 with DraftKings.
Josh Parisian vs. Jamal Pogues
A grappling specialist meets with a knockout artist, as Jamal Pogues aims for a win on his UFC debut. The odds in this one with the sportsbooks favor Pogues greatly at -245, but with 11 knockouts in 20 fights, his opponent will certainly bring the heat to the octagon.
Parisian comes into this fight having won two and lost two in his past four. He did TKO Alan Baudot in his last fight to earn a Performance of the Night bonus, and the former Contender Series star also beat Roque Martinez on a split decision in this four-fight run in the UFC.
The route to success for Parisian is another knockout. Not only does he have proven knockout power, but the 33-year-old is also coming up against a grappling specialist and cannot afford to let Pogues get hold of him.
It's a UFC debut for Pogues, as he also spent time on the Contender Series by beating Paulo Renato Jr. via unanimous decision last August. He is also coming into this fight with nine wins and three losses; at 27, this is the biggest fight of his career.
We think Pogues is due a win in this one and will do so via decision.
Jamal Pogues to win by decision is +150 DraftKings.
William Knight vs. Marcin Prachnio
One of two light heavyweight battles on this main card sees William Knight and Marcin Prachnio looking to make it back to the win column after losses each last time out.
Knight has lost his past two with defeats to Devin Clark and Maxim Grishin and this will also be his first fight at light heavyweight since December 2021 after missing weight against Grishin and moving to heavyweight against Clark.
The American will again be heading for the knockout, as he has won nine of his 11 fights in this manner and just two via decision. However, Knight has not claimed a knockout win since beating Fabio Cherant in August 2021.
Prachnio also has a sensational knockout record of 11 in his 15 wins. Four of his six losses have also been via TKO/KO, and we think he'll get another here.
Not many fighters hit harder than Knight at 205 pounds, and we expect another win for him.
William Knight to win by KO/TKO/DQ is +250 with DraftKings.
Jim Miller vs. Alexander Hernandez
An intriguing fight at lightweight kicks off the main card, as Jim Miller fights for a record-breaking 41st time in the UFC and a 38th time at 155.
At 39, Miller is also on a fantastic winning run of three fights ending inside the distance. The American knocked out Erick Gonzalez and Nikolas Motta, just before getting a win over Donald Cerrone.
Miller is, however, the underdog in this one, despite Hernandez losing his last two fights in the second round. Billy Quarantillo knocked him out back in December, and around this time last year, he also lost to Renato Moicano via submission.
Nevertheless, Miller’s winning run will likely end at 39 years old, and it will be quite a surprise if he is still in the UFC this time next year. We think Hernandez gets the win on points.
Alexander Hernandez to win by decision is +275 with DraftKings.
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