We continue our coverage of UFC 287: Pereira vs. Adesanya 2 with a Preliminary fight between two ranked fighters in the Women's Strawweight (115 lb) Division. Fan-favorite and UFC veteran No. 10 Michelle Waterson-Gomez will put her skills to the test against a hungry Brazilian challenger in No. 15 Luana Pinheiro. This one is sure to be fireworks! Check out our UFC odds series for our Waterson-Gomez-Pinheiro prediction and pick.

Michelle Waterson-Gomez is 18-10 as a professional mixed martial artist and has split her 12-fight UFC career at 6-6. She's a lifelong master of Karate and has had dominant runs in previous organizations like StrikeForce and Invicta. During 2014, she was the No. 1 ranked women's fighter. Coming in, she's 1-4 in her last five bouts and has lost back-to-back fights. Waterson-Gomez stands 5'3″ with a 62-inch reach.

Luana Pinheiro is 10-1 in her pro career and has won her first two UFC fights after earning a contract on DWCS. Ranked quickly at No. 15, she's finished seven of her 10 wins and will be facing her toughest challenge to date in Waterson-Gomez. She's coming off a dominant UD win against Sam Hughes and will look to stay perfect in the UFC. Pinheiro stands 5'4″ and has a 62-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

UFC 287 Odds: Michelle Waterson-Gomez-Luana Pinheiro Odds

Michelle Waterson-Gomez: +138

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Luana Pinheiro: -178

Over (2.5) rounds: -350

Under (2.5) rounds: +250

How to Watch Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Luana Pinheiro


Stream: ESPN App, UFC Fight Pass

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT (Prelims)

*Watch sports LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Why Michelle Waterson-Gomez Will Win

Waterson-Gomez is best known for her Karate-style striking highlighted by her technical leg kicks. She's able to snap her legs up and throw them as quickly as most punches would land. She's a tremendous athlete and continues to stay in her prime at 37 years of age. While her quickness hasn't wavered much, we've seen her chin take a beating in her last few fights. Against “in your face” fighters who push the action, Waterson-Gomez hasn't seen much success. However, if she's able to open up her striking like she did against Angela Hill, she's shown that she can still strike her way to a win.

Keeping the fight standing will be crucial for Waterson-Gomez. Pinheiro is very dangerous on the ground, so Waterson-Gomez will want to avoiding spending any time down there. She's been very good with her takedown defense recently, but getting up from the ground hasn't been as easy. Having gotten submitted in her last fight, she'll have to be diligent of any threats. If Waterson-Gomez can push the pace and fight her style, she should be able to school the younger, more inexperienced fighter.

Why Luana Pinheiro Will Win

Slated as a submission fighter, Pinheiro impressed a lot of people in her DWCS fight when she knocked her opponent out halfway through the first round. She was equally as aggressive with the striking in her debut fight and showed great patience on the feet in her win over Sam Hughes. She's more than willing to stand and bang and will put a lot behind her shots in exchanges. She has a good fight-IQ and is willing to take her time to feel her opponent out. It'll serve her well against an active kicker like Waterson-Gomez.

Pinheiro will likely work behind her jabs as she did against Hughes. She saw a lot of success with here jab-jab-power right combination last time, so look for her to try the same against her opponent here. If she can get in Waterson-Gomez' face and push the action, she should land the hard-enough shots to put her away. Nevertheless, she'll have to focus on keeping her arm guard high and check a few of the leg kicks coming her way.

Final Michelle Waterson-Gomez-Luana Pinheiro Prediction & Pick

Pinheiro has looked better each time out and will have to once again display some patience when fighting Waterson-Gomez. If she can be first in the striking while doing so in a controlled manner, she'll likely be the one landing the harder shots. If things get tough on the feet, Pinheiro will have the advantage in going to the ground. Still, Waterson-Gomez is such a crafty veteran and has all the tools to win this fight. She's very skilled on the ground and is extremely flexible when getting out of bad spots. If Pinheiro isn't disciplined in every facet, Waterson-Gomez could win this tight matchup.

Final Michelle Waterson-Gomez-Luana Pinheiro Prediction & Pick: Michelle Waterson-Gomez (+138)