UFC on Fox 26 - dos Anjos Wins the Battle of Former Champions
Fight Night Winnipeg: Former Champions Collide
Lawler (-120) opened at -160 but action has come on the other side on dos Anjos (-110) who opened as a slight underdog at +120. Stylistically, the two appear identical.
They are both pressure fighters who have a versatile arsenal of strikes. They both come from renowned trainers, have tasted championship gold, and have combined for 75 professional bouts. Best of all: they are both relentless and never seem to tire.
Though not officially stated, this bout could be a title eliminator. Lawler bounced back from his knockout loss by beating Donald Cerrone and dos Anjos defeated Neil Magny and Tarec Saffiedine in impressive fashion. The Brazilian has already called out welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and is confident a win over Lawler puts him next. With a title shot on the horizon, expect both men to stay hungry throughout.
Few fighters can match the intensity of Lawler. He only moves one direction: forward. Already a dangerous striker, he's since enlisted the help of masterful kickboxing coach: Henry Hooft. Lawler possesses a dangerous array of weapons most notably his left hand and left Thai kick. He has great footwork and isn't just a headhunter and is known to attack the body as well.
As impressive as Lawler's striking is, it's his uncanny wrestling defence that allows him to keep the fight standing. Having trained with Pat Miletich for over a decade tends to do that for you. He'll need to utilize all his tools against dos Anjos who is just, if not more, versatile than he is.
The diminutive Brazilian started his UFC career with two losses but slowly and surely developed his whole MMA game. Dos Anjos is an expert pressure fighter like Lawler. He has deceptive knockout power and has lethal and accurate Thai kicks. He's also a solid grappler both offensively and defensively. Most importantly, he is better at risk management and never takes time off.
Prediction: this looks like a true pick'em but one thing sticks out: dos Anjos's adept management in the cage. Lawler still has a tendency to fight recklessly and has hot-and-cold spurts but dos Anjos is consistently on his game. As the more focused fighter, dos Anjos will outpoint Lawler in what will be a back-and-forth with plenty of exchanges.
Our Record: 3-1
Betting Stats & Tidbits:
- -16%: the line movement for dos Anjos since opening; dos Anjos opened at +120 and is now as low -125 in some books
- 3-2: Lawler's record against shorter fighters since returning to the UFC in 2013; his losses were against Johny Hendricks (which he avenged) in 2014 and Tyron Woodley in 2016
- 4-1: dos Anjos's record fighting southpaws; his only loss came against Gleison Tibau back in 2011 although he did struggle against Evan Dunham in 2013
- 5/1: the over/under for Lawler's last six bouts; the only time the under hit was when Woodley knocked him out within the first round; the over/under was set at 2.5 with the under lined at +130
Fight Night 124 Predictions
All betting odds via Sports Interaction
Lock it Up! The lock of the night is Santiago Ponzinibbio (-175); though he faces a notorious knockout artist in Mike Perry (+140), he is a more advanced striker and is smart enough not to indulge Perry in a brawl. He also has the longer reach, has faced better competition, and trains at a better gym
Our Record: 2-2
Who's A Good Dog? Despite being the higher-ranked fighter, Glover Teixeira (+125) is somehow the underdog against Misha Cirkunov (-165). Teixeira was knocked out in two of his last three bouts but against the division's best. Cirkunov has one notable victory and despite being a powerful wrestler, doesn't offer anything Teixeira hasn't faced before.
Our Record: 2-2
Just Say No: to Alessio Di Chirico (-120) versus Oluwale Bamgbose (-110). While a fun fight on paper, it's exactly the type of fight you should bet on if you simply want the thrill of picking randomly.
Main Card (CTV TWO, 8:00 PM ET)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): #2 Robbie Lawler (-120) vs #4 Rafael dos Anjos (-110)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): #3 Ricardo Lamas (-295) vs Josh Emmett (+220)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (-175) vs Mike Perry (+140)
- Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): #3 Glover Teixeira (+125) vs #7 Misha Cirkunov (-155)
Prelims (TSN 5, 5:00 PM ET)
- Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): #14 Jared Cannonier (-195) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (+155)
- Middleweight (185 lbs): Julian Marquez (-300) vs Darren Stewart (+220)
- Welterweight (185 lbs): Chad Laprise (-175) vs Galore Bofando (+135)
- Flyweight (125 lbs): #11 Tim Elliott (-305) vs Pietro Menga (+225)
- Lightweight (155 lbs): John Makdessi (+135) vs Abel Trujillo (-170)
- Middleweight (185 lbs): Alessio Di Chirico (-120) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (-110)
Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, 4 PM ET)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Jordan Mein (-145) vs Erick Silva(+115)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Nordine Taleb (-150) vs Danny Roberts (+120)
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