Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson-Gomez pits two fading strawweights against one another in a last-chance effort to save their careers on the undercard of tonight’s UFC Fight Night from The Apex in Las Vegas.
Rodriguez and Waterson-Gomez face off for the second time in as many years, and with both of them in a 0-2 hole, they must do their best to avoid extending their losing streaks.
UFC odds back Rodriguez in the rematch at -310, with Waterson-Gomez a +250 underdog.
Here are my free picks for Rodriguez vs. Waterson-Gomez at UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas.
Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez fight odds
Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez method of victory odds
|Method of Victory||Marina Rodriguez||Michelle Waterson-Gomez|
|To win by KO/TKO||+500||+1,800|
|To win by points||-155||+430|
|To win by submission||+2,000||+1,000|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on September 21, 2023.
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Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez picks
Fight prediction: Rodriguez ML
Things aren’t looking up for Waterson-Gomez. "The Karate Hottie" is 1-5 over her last six fights, and while she deserved the nod against Luana Pinheiro at UFC 287, it doesn’t improve her predicament. This rematch with Rodriguez is essentially a career-defining match for her.
Rodriguez is not much better off. She’s lost her last two fights to Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba so a third straight won’t do her any favors. Luckily for her, she is likely to rebound to the detriment of an old adversary.
Their first fight was a five-rounder where Rodriguez swept the first three before running out of steam, allowing Waterson-Gomez to make a late run. It was too little, too late, however, as Waterson-Gomez was soundly outpointed.
It’s a three-round bout this time, and neither fight has altered their game since their first clash. Rodriguez’s volume striking combined with Waterson-Gomez’s tendency to absorb shots to wrestle will make this an easy fight to score.
Though both fighters are on the wrong side of 30 and in evident decline, Rodriguez has more left in the tank. She’ll go 2-0 against Waterson-Gomez and get back on track with a win.
Prediction: Marina Rodriguez moneyline (-310 at DraftKings)
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Fight best bet: Rodriguez by decision
In their first fight, Rodriguez effectively outworked Waterson-Gomez in the first three rounds, and while she faded badly past that point, Waterson-Gomez was never threatening to steal the fight. Although the fight was there for the taking, Waterson-Gomez couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
It’s clear that Rodriguez’s striking proficiency is enough to shut Waterson-Gomez down, and with this being a three-round fight, the conditioning issues from the first fight won’t present itself this time.
I expect Rodriguez to outclass her rival once again, winning a dominant decision.
Pick: Marina Rodriguez to win by decision (-165 at DraftKings)
Not intended for use in MA.
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Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez betting preview
Rodriguez(16-3-2) is the No. 8-ranked strawweight seeing her ranking threatened after consecutive losses to Lemos and Jandiroba. A volume striker with solid defense, Rodriguez will carry physical advantages in height and reach and previously defeated Waterson-Gomez by decision in 2021.
Waterson-Gomez (18-11) dropped a disputed decision to Pinheiro in her last fight, extending her winless streak that dates back to 2020. The karate black belt is known for her grappling, with half of her wins coming by submission.
The first fight saw Rodriguez outstrike Waterson-Gomez 125-88 across five rounds. Rodriguez is 2-2 since that fight, whereas Waterson-Gomez is 0-2.
Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez tale of the tape
|Marina Rodriguez||Michelle Waterson-Gomez|
|115 lbs||Weight||115 lbs|
|65 inches||Reach||62 inches|
|16-3-2 (6 KO)||Record||16-11 (3 KO)|
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