Embed from Getty Images
The main event comes in the Lightweight division, as Rafael dos Anjos takes on Rafael Fiziev. Returning to the division he once conquered, dos Anjos has rattled off back-to-back wins. Currently ranked seventh, the former Champion is inching closer and closer to a title shot. With a victory over a surging Fiziev, dos Anjos could realistically find himself in a number one contender’s fight next. Meanwhile, Fiziev comes into this fight on a five-fight win streak. Having rattled off four straight bonuses to go along with the wins, Fiziev is becoming must watch tv. Co-headlining his first main event, the tenth ranked Lightweight has a chance to knock off a former Champion and firmly put himself in the title mix.
Despite this being the third attempt to pair these two up, it’s a blessing that we get to finally see it. A former champion for a reason, dos Anjos is one of the most well rounded fighters on the roster. Backed by an endless gas tank, dos Anjos is very active. Whether it’s on the feet or wrestling, dos Anjos is always working to score points. Extremely durable, the Brazilian has only been stopped three times in forty-four fights. Looking to challenge that durability is Fiziev. A dynamic striking, who is precise and powerful, Fiziev can put away anyone. Excellent in distance management, Fiziev often chops down opponents with leg kicks and picks them apart on the outside. In brief, he’s a handful to deal with on the feet. Not easy to takedown either, in six UFC fights, Fiziev has shrugged off twenty-two of twenty-three takedown attempts. The only vulnerability the Kyrgyz has shown is gas tank may be problematic.
As for a prediction, I have dos Anjos winning. In what I expect to be a barnburner, I’m banking on the well rounded and cardio machine dos Anjos to take Fiziev into deep waters. Knowing the Kyrgyz may slow down the later the fight goes, dos Anjos should see his game shine in the later rounds. I believe he will even penetrate the stout takedown defense of Fiziev. In the end, I predict that dos Anjos outlasts Fiziev, winning via decision – his thirteenth in the UFC, which would tie him with Neil Magny for the most all-time with the promotion.