- What: UFC 292 Pay-Per-View Card Co-Main Event
- Who: Zhang Weili vs. Amanda Lemos
- Date: Saturday, August 19, 2023
- Location: TD Garden in Boston, MA
- Time: Early Prelims (6:30 p.m. ET) Prelims (8:00 p.m. ET) Pay-Per-View (10:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ABC, ESPN), Main Card (ESPN+ PPV)
The UFC is back in Boston for the first time since 2019 for the UFC 292 pay-per-view card. The event, which streams on ESPN+, is headlined by a title fight between UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley. Sterling is looking for his fourth successful title defense, while O’Malley, who is the No. 2 ranked fighter in the official UFC bantamweight rankings, looks to end Sterling’s UFC bantamweight record nine-fight winning streak. Meanwhile, in the co-main event, UFC women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili puts her title on the line against Amanda Lemos. Here is some background on the UFC 292 co-headliner before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC 292 card.
Zhang Weili (23-3) is in her second run as the UFC 115-pound champ. She regained the title in November with a submission win over Carla Esparza. In her first reign, Zhang defended the title once before losing back-to-back fights to Rose Namajunas.
Amanda Lemos (13-2-1) is the No. 5 fighter in the official UFC women’s strawweight rankings. She is coming off back-to-back finishes in her past two fights, submitting Michelle Waterson and knocking out Marina Rodriguez. Both battles took place in 2022, with the Rodriguez KO, her most recent victory, coming in November.
UFC 292 co-main event: Zhang Weili vs. Amanda Lemos betting picks
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UFC 292 co-main event: Zhang Weili vs. Amanda Lemos betting breakdown
Amanda Lemos has the chance to play the spoiler again when she faces Zhang Weili in the UFC 292 co-main event. When Lemos met Marina Rodriguez in November, Rodriguez was the No. 3 fighter in the official UFC women’s 115-pound rankings. She was also a -230 favorite over Lemos, who came in as the +195 underdog. With a win, Rodriguez was likely next up for a strawweight title fight. However, Lemos stunned her opponent, the UFC, and the fans by ending Rodriguez’s four-fight winning streak and becoming the first fighter to score a knockout victory over her. The question on Saturday night is, can she pull off an even bigger upset against the champ?
Lemos is an excellent striker. She employs a lot of movement and uses feints to get her opponent to react. From there, Lemos gauges time, space, and tendencies. She then uses all that information to land her strikes with as much power as possible.
Like Lemos, Zhang is primarily a striker. However, Zhang tends to be much lighter on her feet, which allows her to employ a more extensive arsenal of striking techniques and targets. She is adept at striking from multiple ranges and is especially effective with her kicks, something that cannot be said of Lemos.
While Zhang vs. Lemos will be a striking battle, the champ is the better all-around striker, which gives her the advantage in the co-main event of UFC 292.
UFC 292 co-main event: Zhang Weili vs. Amanda Lemos statistical breakdown
No UFC strawweight has as many knockdowns (5) as Amanda Lemos. The Brazilian is also tied for first in the division in finishes (5) and knockouts (3). Further, she is the No. 3 fighter in the weight class in significant strike landing percentage (55.6). Defensively, Lemos is one of the least-hit fighters in the division, absorbing 2.79 significant strikes per minute. The downside of this fight for Lemos is that she has never fought five rounds in the UFC and has only gone the three-round distance twice during her UFC career. No one in the UFC’s 115-pound division has a shorter average fight time than Lemos at 7:22.
Zhang might not have the flashy numbers of her foe at UFC 292, but the Chinese fighter has scored knockdowns (2) and knockouts (2) during her UFC tenure. She is also near the division’s top in significant strikes landed per minute (5.79) and striking differential (plus 1.73).
Best Bets for UFC 292 co-main event: Zhang Weili vs. Amanda Lemos
I’d be surprised to see these women come out super aggressive in this matchup. Both will respect the power of their foe. They’ll also know they have five rounds to work. With that, expect Zhang Weili and Amanda Lemos to use the early portion of this fight to gauge distance, pick up tendencies and look for openings.
This is Lemos’ second big test in the UFC. In her first, Jessica Andrade defeated her via first-round submission. That matchup was a learning experience for Lemos, but her two bouts since that loss did not prepare her for the level of opponent she will face in Zhang, who knocked out Andrade in under a minute to win the title in 2019.
Lemos tends to throw big punches. If she throws too many hooks, Zhang will time them and return with fast counters that score points. Those openings will also give Zhang the opportunity to end the fight via knockout. The betting pick for the UFC 292 co-main event is Zhang to retain her title. If the betting odds are favorable, a prop bet for Zhang to win by knockout or submission is not out of line. As for my betting pick, I’m going with Zhang to win via decision, and I’ll consider a Lemos via knockout wager as well, if the odds look good.
Best UFC 292 co-main event betting pick: Zhang Weili to retain the UFC strawweight title via decision over Amanda Lemos.
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