Last Updated Apr 27, 2022, 12:12 PM
UFC Vegas 52 Picks, Predictions, Odds
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns this weekend with UFC Vegas 52 hosted in its UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event, labeled ‘UFC Vegas 52’ is to be headlined by Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade who will lock horns in a five-round women’s strawweight bout.
Andrade is a former UFC women’s strawweight champion and two-time UFC multiple weight title challenger. She takes on Amanda Lemos, the new kid on the block on an absolute tear through the division. Lemos comes into this fight on five straight wins.
Amanda Lemos vs. Jessica Andrade Picks
In many ways Lemos is similar to someone like Andrade. She has good pressure and a lethal finishing ability for the weight class. In her five last wins she has won three inside the distance.
Andrade is a bulldozer too, although she is the smaller fighter in this matchup. Jessica’s game is built around being on the offense. Naturally, this means that when she is the one getting pressured she doesn’t do all that well.
Lemos might be the only girl in this weight class who can effectively push Andrade back and dominate the center of the octagon. She can do this because she is the bigger fighter, and because she hits harder than anyone Andrade has fought in a long time.
The experience is the biggest advantage for Andrade here, and Lemos has never gone five rounds before. However, I don’t think she will do that here either, as I think either Lemos or Andrade will find a finish before the fourth round starts.
Let’s also not forget that Andrade is inexperienced in five rounders. She has main evented before, sure, but when does she ever go the distance? The only time she went the full 25, she lost a lopsided decision to then-champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. I’m definitely not seeing her as this composed championship fighter that some make her out to be. At the very least both are evenly gassed by the championship rounds.
In that case, Lemos is the side to back because she is the underdog.
Best Bet: Amanda Lemos ML (+162)
Alexandr Romanov vs. Chase Sherman Picks
Romanov was initially scheduled to take on Tanner Boser in what would’ve been a fun fight. Boser is a great striker with decent defense grappling, and there are some question marks surrounding the unbeaten Romanov despite him being 4-0 in the promotion. For instance, his 43% striking defense, what’s up with that. Another thing is his cardio - he was gassed out against Juan Espino and got a technical decision win, gifted to him from above.
Now that he’s facing Sherman though, I doubt we will see a competitive affair on Saturday. Sherman is on his second stint in the UFC and is not looking better than he did in his first. He is fresh off a three-fight skid heading into this weekend’s bout against an unbeaten grappler.
Sherman does have decent takedown defense, but there are levels to wrestling. Parker Porter was able to get him down for a few minutes, meaning Romanov will be able to play around with him on the mat.
If Sherman had more threatening striking abilities, it could make the fight interesting late, however I doubt Romanov will let this fight continue past the first takedown he lands.
After all, Sherman is 3-8 in the UFC. It’s just not in the cards that he wins this fight.
Best Bet: Alexandr Romanov Round 1
Clay Guida vs. Claudio Puelles Picks
Guida is one of the most experienced guys still competing on the UFC roster. He takes on Puelles, a gifted grappler with a solid kicking game.
As always, Guida is far older than his opponent in the octagon. This time it's a 15-year gap between the two, with Puelles being the youngster.
I think we are seeing pick’ em odds for this fight because Guida just won against a grappler, and Puelles’ last outing wasn’t all that impressive, even though he got the win.
Remembering that Leonardo Santos, the grappler Guida just beat, is a 40-year-old man kind of deflates that win a little bit though. Don’t get me wrong, Guida looked incredible out there, but I think Santos beat himself more than anything by completely punching himself out in round one after hurting Clay badly.
Puelles is a bit of a strange guy. His grappling is really good, and on the feet he barely throws hands at all. When he strikes he uses his legs to kick up top or to the body.
Guida does have the wrestling to potentially stop most takedowns coming his way but we’ve seen ‘The Carpenter’ submitted so many times that I see Puelles having a clear path to victory: just get into a scramble and lock on to a ‘sub.
Clay’s grappling accolades are mainly in wrestling, and Puelles is, in my mind, the far better grappler when it comes to submitting guys.
On the feet I see Clay doing good work with that patented high pace of his, but don’t sleep on those kicks of Puelles. We just saw Clay hurt to the body by a kick from Santos, so Puelles could find the mark if given enough time.
The age discrepancy paired with the fact that Puelles is on an upwards trajectory with that four-fight win streak of his makes me side with the younger guy.
Lando Vannata vs. Charles Jourdain Picks
Striker versus striker.
Vannata needs to solidify himself in the top of the division with a solid win over a young guy at featherweight. If he loses this weekend, I worry he will be floating in between weight classes and never get to the top 15 ‘till his days in the UFC are over. And believe me, if he loses this weekend they could very well be over sooner rather than later.
Vannata has been around for longer than you might think, despite him only being 30 years of age. He had his debut in 2016 in a fight of the night against Tony Ferguson, and it seems like he peaked around that time. He hasn’t produced anything noteworthy in the cage since, other than a KO over John Makdessi immediately after.
Lando has been very outspoken about mental health issues that have kept him in and out of the cage, however he claimed he was in the best spot he’s ever been leading up to his UFC 234 outing against Marcos Mariano. Now, he did win that fight so props to him, but since then he has still alternated wins and losses.
The wins on Vannata’s record are against guys that are not signed with the promotion anymore. Yancy Medeiros is gone, so is Mariano, and I guarantee you Mike Grundy will be in the not too distant future. His UFC record is 4-5-2, essentially meaning that in 11 fights he has won four.
Charles Jourdain isn’t exactly pretty either with three wins in seven outings (including one draw) but honestly the guys he has been fighting are better than the guys Vannata has been fighting.
Striking wise Jourdain totally checks out. He runs into trouble with guys that are able to take him down and win minutes on the clock, because he is pretty much just a boxer. Vannata does know how to get a takedown, but he can’t hold people down which leads me to believe this will play out on the feet. Who wins in that scenario? I’ve got Jourdain all day. He’s scrappy, he pushes forward, and lands more strikes than Vannata in general.
Jourdain does get hit, sure, but he’s the guy with a positive striking differential here, which takes the cake for me. Not even that, Jourdain also has the better striking defense and accuracy on paper.
Vannata did look good in his last time out, but that was against Mike Grundy, a guy who has averaged two punches landed per minute in the UFC. It’s like hitting the bag, when nothing is being thrown at you, you look great, but when you face someone with more volume than yourself things get dicey.
I do think this is a close fight but Jourdain is simply doing the better work and producing the better numbers on the feet. Vannata absorbs more than he lands on average, which doesn’t tell the tale of a particularly good striker, especially when you have data from 11 fights. Jourdain takes this one.
Best Bet: Charles Jourdain ML (-125)
Maycee Barber vs. Montana De La Rosa Picks
Moving on down the card we’ve got Maycee Barber taking on Montana De La Rosa at flyweight.
Barber likes to strike, Rosa likes to grapple, so there are clashing styles at play here.
Ever since losing to Roxanne Modafferi, in a fight that I still consider a fluke, Maycee has looked a shell of her former self, losing two straight right after and most recently winning the, perhaps, most disputed split-decision in UFC history, against Miranda Maverick. Meanwhile Montana De La Rosa is coming off a good win over Ariane Lipski back in June of last year.
As much as I hate to say it, I think Barber has lost the magic that made her a threat in the women’s strawweight division. Up until that Modafferi loss she was knocking girls out left and right like it was nothing. I’d never seen anyone with the finishing ability that she possesses when at her best in the strawweight division before.
After that loss to Roxanne she hasn’t been able to get her offense going and has had trouble finding her range.
Barber is still very young and there is absolutely time for great improvements in her future. She is still very green in this game and can develop her game to reach new heights. Until I see some of that killer instinct again, which has been missing from her game since losing, I can’t predict her to get her hand raised. If Barber doesn’t do any damage on the feet how does Rosa not have the upper hand with her grappling here?
Montana is also a bit bigger than Maycee which will allow her to dart in and out of range whilst having an easier time finding takedowns with longer arms.
Best Bet: Montana de la Rosa ML +162
Manel Kape vs. Su Mudaerji Picks
Two of the hottest prospects of the flyweight division face off at UFC Vegas 52. This division just keeps getting better and better, and talented fights like this makes watching the 125-pound division worthwhile.
Manel Kape is a good striker with the ground game advantage in this fight. His grappling is good but I haven’t seen it materialize into anything in the octagon. He has landed two takedowns in four UFC fights and seems unable to hold his opponents down.
Mudaerji is a more freely flowing striker with good movement. He flows in and out of movement so well that guys have a hard time landing on him, which is why he has only been hit about twice per minute thus far in the UFC. That’s big.
Kape is technically sound but he has a tendency to wait for counters too much. His striking has paid off for him in his last two, but I think he needs grappling to win this one for sure. He needs to make the fight dicey for Mudaerji, and get him out of his comfort zone. If Kape can’t do that, then this fight plays out in Mudaerji’s realm and he will steal rounds with his jab, especially considering he has a four-inch reach advantage here.
I'm surprised by the fact Mudaerji is the underdog. After all, he is the one on a three-fight winning streak and with a performance bonus in the UFC. These prospect-vs-prospect matchups can get dicey, so I’ll naturally side with the plus money for value’s sake.
Best Bet: Su Mudaerji ML +150