UFC on ESPN 11 Betting Pick: Roxanne Modafferi vs Lauren Murphy

This fight was originally set up by these two women but not how you would normally imagine.

Instead of trading insults and making hype videos on Twitter, these two just said: Hey friend, we are both coming off of a win and I think a matchup would be swell.

Well, here we are.

The betting odds agree with the two women that this is a great matchup.

Or do they?

Roxy actually opened as a (-165) favorite and now she is the slightest of favorites at (-115).

You know, both women are very strong in the clinch.

Lauren might be a little bit more technical striking on her feet but Rox brings herky-jerky to a whole new level.

Like Bruce Lee said: The best style is no style, and Roxy along with her head coach John Wood can say that her style is 100% unique.

Both women have shown that a change of scenery can rejuvenate their respective careers.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us this week. Let’s get to those and make our UFC betting predictions for the matchup between Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi vs Lauren “Lucky” Murphy.

Roxanne Modafferi (-115) vs Lauren Murphy (-105)

Round Total

OVER 2.5

This is a pretty big fight!

I’m not sure why it is so far down on the fight card.

Roxy is a top 5 fighter.

Lauren lacks the submission/takedown/top game that Roxy has but the odds are very close here because people don’t really see Roxy being able to take her down.

It’s going to be tough for Rox to get her down several times but I think she can do it once or twice.

The small cage should help Roxy because she is the bigger fighter at 2 inches taller with a 2-inch reach advantage as well.

Lauren doesn’t command the center of the Octagon so I think Modafferi, who is an aggressive fighter, will take the center and push her opponent back into a disadvantageous area skirting along the fenceline.

Murphy is very very strong in the clinch and looked better than Roxy in that particular position against a common opponent, Ultimate Fighter winner, Nicco Montano.

The Happy Warrior just keeps getting stronger, though.

Ever since she enlisted the help of strength and conditioning coach Lorenzo Pavlica, she has consistently shown improved cardio, speed, and strength every time she steps into the Octagon.

I have trained alongside Roxy and under Lorenzo for years and I am 100% sure neither of them slipped up or got lazy during this quarantine.

I’m not saying Lauren isn’t doing what she needs to do.

She does have a path to beat Modafferi and it’s not really complicated.

Land the more meaningful strikes, defend the takedown attempt, and leave with your hand raised.

Easy, right?

A lot of fighters including Roxy’s most recent victim, “The Future” (Not the present) Maycee Barber thought they were going to be much more successful than they actually were.

People don’t think Roxy is strong.

Sure, she got woman-handled at 135 before she ever committed herself to any kind of strength program.

Now, she is down at her natural weight class and has been getting stronger for going on 8 years.

I do like how Lauren mixes up her hands. She has solid footwork turning the corner on offense and defense when striking.

Her head coach Bob Perez is a Muay Thai genius with underrated mixed martial arts abilities and knowledge.

I don’t think he is on the level of Modafferi’s head coach John Wood when it comes to corner work for MMA but his application of Muay Thai for MMA is outstanding.

He learned from Greg Jackson and it shows with his calming instructions during and in between rounds.

This is going to be a quiet arena and having John there without the noise of the crowd should benefit Roxanne tremendously.

Modafferi is on the home team here as well. She lives in Vegas training at Syndicate MMA and lives just minutes from the UFC’s APEX facility.

This fight could be very close but I see more paths to victory for Rox as well as a guiding voice in a quiet room to help her navigate any troubled waters she may encounter.

Roxanne Modafferi vs Lauren Murphy
Roxanne Modafferi

In Conclusion

Cheers to another UFC!

It’s been keeping me busy, for sure, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

My favorite sport is back and rolling through 4+ events/month!

I feel for the baseball heads right now who might not even get a season.

The NBA’s 22-team extended playoff looks pretty rad but that’s still not for a while.

I will be tuning in early this Saturday night to catch the UFC.

The main card starts at 8 so the prelims will kick off, or punch, at 5:00 PM Eastern.

Both of these women are now in their late 30s and they don’t have much time left.

A run at the title isn’t likely but it is possible, especially for Modafferi who has a deeper bag of tricks.

I wouldn’t go too heavy on The Happy Warrior this weekend, but I think her Judo as well as having a quiet arena/excellent corner will help her get her hand raised for a decision win.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.