UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Pick: Virna Jandiroba vs Kanako Murata

This is one of the highest level fights on the card this Saturday and we aren’t hearing much about it. I suppose neither woman has a massive following yet, at least not outside of their respective home countries of Brazil and Japan.

Long time rivals on the grappling and MMA scene, Japan and Brazil will meet once again this Saturday night in Las Vegas. Virna Jandiroba has had a successful UFC career thus far but is coming off of a loss in her last fight, her first since she made her debut against potentially the next title challenger in the Women’s Strawweight Division, Carla Esparza.

What is that all about?

Carla has been top ten if not top 5 for her entire career in the UFC.

Why is she fighting debutants?

It is like they could care less about the development of Virna Jandiroba either.

While Salty Sean O’Malley is fighting Louis Smolka on the main card of a McGregor pay per view at the upcoming UFC 264 in his 6th UFC fight, Virna is fighting Carla Esparza in her debut. Paying attention to who is getting the push and who isn’t always helps us as cappers.

Virna lost the fight with Carla and was taken down 4 times on 10 attempts from The Cookie Monster and one of the division’s best takedown artists.

This makes sense.

Carla takes down everyone she fights and does it multiple times, for the most part.

And lately, whew, Carla is looking stronger than ever so I don’t count Virna’s debut against one of the division’s best against her.

Yes, she lost but she also secured some takedowns in that fight.

She actually got Carla down 3 times.
Esparza is a much more experienced mixed martial artist than Virna’s opponent this weekend, Kanako Murata. The Japanese prospect has quite the wrestling acumen and that is what the oddsmakers are seeing here.

Kanako is the slight favorite in this fight and I can understand why. They are grading wrestling over BJJ and while I agree with this sentiment most of the time, I also agree that size matters.

It’s not always easy for me to admit this but it’s true.
The UFC doesn’t have a 105 pound weight class and fighters like Kanako Murata would likely be competing down south. A 10 pound difference at 210 to 200 is noticeable and if you are aware, it is significant enough to factor into your capping.

Well, double that significance for the strawweights who should be fighting in a 105 pound or Atomweight division should the UFC get rid of the 145 ladies and get the buck o’ fivers in there. I am all for it.

Murata is pretty stout. Don’t get me wrong. She is super built and may hold a strength advantage over Virna Jandiroba but I like the woman with the bigger frame here to give Kanako some trouble with her takedown attempts and possibly even take down the decorated Japanese wrestler.

Let’s look at the betting lines provided by the good folks over at BetOnline.AG and make our predictions on a winner for the high level women’s strawweight scrap between Brazil’s Virna Jandiroba and Japan’s Kanako Murata.

Virna Jandiroba (-135) vs Kanako Murata (+105)

So, the books think Virna Jandiroba is going to win but they don’t want to tell people they really think she is going to get her hand raised. Virna is more proven. She is bigger. She has a better BJJ game and she has shown to be very tough and fight hard for the full 15 minutes.

In her last fight, we bet against Virna Jandiroba taking advantage of just an absolutely silly line, Mackenzie Dern to win a decision for (+300). It was a very close fight but that doesn’t bother you that much when you have one to win by decision at 3 to 1.

You only need to win one out of four to break even at those odds so go ahead, flip a coin. Let’s play. What I want to take from that fight for today is that Virna came very very close to winning that contest.

Where would the betting line be if she had pulled out the victory?

I think she would at least be up at (-185) so there is your value right there. I know some folks are getting behind Murata here and I get it. She is the more decorated wrestler but it is very hard to take the bigger person down and Virna is the larger fighter.

Okay, so who do we favor in a boxing match?

I think it is pretty even but I actually don’t think the grappling of the two women will cancel each other out. I think they will both engage in the clinch and on the mat.

Virna is going to get the takedown. Watch. She took Carla down 3 times and Esparza’s wrestling chops can match any woman in the division.

Will Jandiroba get the submission?
Ooh, that is hard to say. That is why I don’t want to risk it here with a method of victory play. The (+220) is pretty hot and tempting, though. I have to admit. You can sprinkle a bit on her decision line because Murata does have short strong limbs and neck.

She might be able to fend off the attacks of Virna but I like where she is right now at (-135). One unit, though.

The Bet

In Conclusion

I like this matchup. The UFC did a good job.

I feel like people are really underestimating Virna Jandiroba.

Fighting Carla Esparza in your UFC debut is hard enough and she just got done with a close loss to Mackenzie Dern, only one of the best female Jiu Jitsu players ever.

Jandiroba has been able to take down everyone she has fought and I think she will do the same here against Japan’s Kanako Murata.

Please Note:
Kanako is a decorated wrestler, the younger fighter, and possibly the more explosive athlete as well. She definitely has some things going for her in this fight but I can just see Virna finding a way to her back and staying there for most of a round or even two.

That is about all it should take so give me the better submission artist and larger framed fighter to get the win here. Jandiroba has been tested! She hasn’t won those fights but she certainly showed up.

I like Virna but not enough to throw multiple units on her but still better value than most of the fights on this card.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.