Preview: UFC on ESPN 25 Prelims

Jandiroba vs. Murata

By Tom Feely Jun 17, 2021

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC, PFL and “The Ultimate Fighter” live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

Women’s Strawweights

#13 WSW | Virna Jandiroba (16-2, 2-2 UFC) vs. NR | Kanako Murata (12-1, 1-0 UFC)

ODDS: Jandiroba (-140), Murata (+120)

This battle between strawweight hopefuls is one of the hidden gems on this card. After a run as an Invicta Fighting Championships titlist, Brazil’s Jandiroba got a tough entry into the UFC, accepting a late-notice call to face Carla Esparza. After dropping that bout, Jandiroba went about showing why she is so highly regarded, particularly in the grappling realm. After tapping Mallory Martin, she became the first woman to submit Felice Herrig and did so in just 104 seconds. Jandiroba’s next and most recent bout was a surprisingly entertaining affair against Mackenzie Dern, as the latter’s aggressive approach and own grappling chops forced her to try and keep pace. While she fell short, Jandiroba showed plenty of heart in a game effort and survived well against a relentless and much stronger athlete. She will look to rebound here against Japan’s Murata, who is one of the UFC’s more interesting dark horses at 115 pounds.

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC, PFL and “The Ultimate Fighter” live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

Another former Invicta champion, Murata is a high-level wrestler first and foremost, and that still makes up the vast majority of her approach. While she has turned into a solid striker with some good ideas, that part of her game is mostly perfunctory and only serves to set up her takedowns. That was enough to get by Randa Markos in her UFC debut in November, though there is some question as to whether or not Murata’s small frame or lack of a striking background will eventually halt her ascent on the strawweight ladder. This should be a solid guidepost, as Jandiroba is the most skilled of Murata’s opponents without being an overwhelming athlete. Murata should be able to find her takedowns, at least to start, but from there, everything else is a question mark. It remains unclear if she can do enough to effectively control Jandiroba, and the Brazilian is the more technically well-practiced striker. However, Jandiroba’s striking is not particularly powerful, so the bet is that unless she can find a submission, she will not be able to make up the difference against Murata’s control time—even if Murata may have to rinse and repeat takedowns to keep getting Jandiroba to the mat. It may be more tactical than entertaining, but the pick is Murata via decision.

Continue Reading » Williams vs. Semelsberger Advertisement
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>