We're back for yet another prediction and pick for UFC Austin as we turn our attention towards the featured Prelim fight of the night. We'll see a ranked matchup in the Women's Bantamweight (135) Division as UFC pioneer No. 12 Miesha “Cupcake” Tate takes on No. 13 Julia Avila. The Main Card follows immediately after! Check out our UFC odds series for our Tate-Avila prediction and pick.
Miesha Tate (19-9) comes into this bout with a 6-6 UFC record since 2013. She's one of the OG's of women's combat sports and her journey has brought her to the rankings once again. Tate comes in off back-to-back losses against Ketlen Vieira and Lauren Murphy. Her last win came against Marlon Reneau back in 2021, so she's hoping to return to that same form. Tate stands 5'6″ with a 65-inch reach.
Julia Avila (9-2) comes into this fight with a 3-1 UFC record since 2019. She started her career off with two impressive wins over Pannie Kianzad and Gina Mazany, but got beat handily against Sijara Eubanks. Avila bounced back with her most recent win over Julija Stoliarenko in 2021. She's hoping to gain position in the rankings with a win over Tate. Avila stands 5'7″ with a 68-inch reach.
Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
UFC Austin Odds: Miesha Tate-Julia Avila Odds
Miesha Tate: +120
Julia Avila: -154
Over 2.5 rounds: -260
Under 2.5 rounds: +196
How to Watch Miesha Tate vs. Julia Avila
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. PT (Prelims)
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Why Miesha Tate Will Win
Miesha Tate is coming into this fight at 1-4 in her last five fights. Her last two fights have been against both a striker and a grappler, in which Tate was out-gamed in both areas of the fight. Her striking isn't quite what it used to be, but she's still tough as nails and can string combinations together when trading in the pocket. Historically, Tate has been a very sound wrestler and can take the fight to the ground with a number of throws and takedowns. However, she hasn't been very explosive with her attempts recently and it's clear that her age is slowly starting to catch up with her.
In order to be successful here, Tate will have to be aggressive and step to anything Avila throws at her. She can't get caught on her back foot as Avila is very aggressive in chasing the finish. Miesha Tate should look to meet Avila in the center of the octagon and mix in her level changes periodically. She may not have the speed advantage over Avila, but Tate is the more experienced fighter and has been in this position many times before. Expect her to stay in this fight for all three rounds and push the pressure so long as she's standing up.
Why Julia Avila Will Win
Julia Avila saw her last action in 2021 when she finished Julija Stoliarenko with a rear naked choke in the final round of their fight. Since then, she's had to have a surgery to repair her ACL and she also became a mother for the first time. She's had a ton on her plate over the last two years and while her body has been constantly changing, she's continued to work equally as hard in the gym. Still, two years away is significant for any fighter, so she'll have to quickly shake off any ring rust and focus on her opponent. She'll be the slight favorite due to her finishing abilities and cleaner record up to this point.
While Miesha Tate may seem like the older fighter here, Avila is just two years her junior and will have her toughest test in facing a veteran like Tate. Julia Avila sees a lot of success with damaging strikes when she's in the clinch, so expect her to try and get her hands on Tate quickly in this one. Avila isn't as sound as Tate on the ground, so she may look to tie her up along the fence and work her with body strikes. Expect Avila to throw her shots with power and as it always goes in MMA, she'll be extra-motivated after becoming a parent.
Final Miesha Tate-Julia Avila Prediction & Pick
This should prove to be an evenly-matched fight between two very skilled fighters. Miesha Tate is very dominant with her wrestling and we could see her take a grappling-heavy approach in this one. Her hope is that Julia Avila will not be ready physically and she can wear her down with control from top position.
However, Julia Avila will have a small reach advantage here and her takedown defense has typically been good at 61%. She may be harder to bring down than Tate expects and if this fight stays on the feet, I expect Avila to be the more aggressive striker. This fight may be closer than the line indicates, but we'll roll with Julia Avila in this one.
Final Miesha Tate-Julia Avila Prediction & Pick: Julia Avila (-154)