It has been three long years since Leah Letson last fought in the Octagon and she gets no “tune-up fight” in her return. Instead, she fights Felicia Spencer, a former title challenger and a veteran who’s fought both Amanda Nunes and Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The UFC betting lines have Spencer (8-3-0) as a wide favorite here, tied for the second-biggest this Saturday.
The question becomes how good Letson (5-1-0) will be given she hasn’t been fighting for so long. Heck, in the time Letson was away, Spencer fought five times (six with her grappling bout). It behooves us to give Spencer the edge. But like the Ladd-Dumont fight a month ago, this one could be an upset.
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 13, 4 p.m. ET
- Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV, United States
- Watch on: ESPN+
Felicia Spencer vs Leah Letson
Weight Class: Featherweight (145)
Moneyline: Leah Letson +240, Felicia Spencer -320
Totals: Over 2½ (-230), Under 2½ (+180)
These lengthy odds on Spencer make it tough to bet online. But shelling money for Letson would literally be online gambling as we have no idea how she will look when the bell rings. From the earlier fights, Letson is primarily a striker who also has some Jiu-Jitsu skills but is nowhere near as proficient as Spencer’s.
Who Is Leah Letson Now?
Mixed Martial Arts is a fast-evolving sport. Three years may as well have been 10 for Letson as women’s MMA has changed since she last fought. Cyborg was still the champion and Valentina Shevchenko had not won a title yet.
Letson has proudly said she is nowhere near the same fighter she once was so it’s good to see she is training and confident. But as Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” So Letson may walk into the octagon thinking “she’s got this” then gets mangled by Spencer.
But if Letson has improved, she will be the better striker and the faster woman. If she can keep Spencer at range and avoid getting tied up, she may just get her first win in nearly three years.
Spencer Looking To Bounceback
Spencer has lost her last two bouts and three of her last four. But when she’s fighting at the top of the division, we can almost forgive these losses. Her defeat against Norma Dumont was also the first time she’s lost as a favorite. The Canadian otherwise gets the job done when she’s expected to.
The 30-year-old is the best grappler in the division. Six of her eight victories have come via submission or ground-and-pound. The issue with Spencer is her wrestling. She only averages a 10% takedown accuracy and 0.64 takedowns per 15 minutes.
If Spencer can find a way to get Letson to the mat, it’s a “good game”. But if she once again struggles to, she could be a sitting duck for Letson, especially if she as improved as she claims to be.
Spencer vs Letson: Who Wins?
If this fight was a pick ’em, Spencer should be the pick. She has a significant advantage with her Jiu-Jitsu and has been more active while fighting tougher competition. However, at -320, it is tough to lay that juice on someone who has had sizable holes and been exposed for it.
If you wanna see the slowest/weakest looking takedown In UFC history Felicia Spencer landed it on Megan Anderson in the first round 😂
— SharkStuh 🦈 (@KillStuhDFS) November 9, 2021
So as far as the best UFC bet, this is “Letson or pass”. We’d recommend waiting on Letson’s line a bit and gauging how the market feels. Once Letson’s line climbs even further, she may be worth a wager.