Corey Anderson vs. Ilir Latifi
|Date & Time||Saturday December 29, 2018, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Ilir Latifi -152 / Corey Anderson +138 -- Over/Under:
Ilir Latifi and Corey Anderson fight Saturday during UFC 232 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Ilir Latifi enters this fight with a 15-5 record and has won 40 percent of his fights by knockout. Latifi has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a February win over Ovince Saint Preux. Latifi is averaging 2.37 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Latifi is averaging 2.33 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Latifi had one of the better showings of the year so far, as he landed 27 quick strikes and produced a first round submission, earning performance of the night honors. OSP had simply nothing for the Swede and was dominated from start to finish in his home state. Latifi was supposed to fight back in July but later pulled out due to injury. Regardless, Latifi now has just one loss in the last three years and is quickly making a case for being crowned as one of the best in this division. Latifi isn’t the most accurate striker in the world, but he is very powerful and doesn’t need to land cleanly to score a knockdown on his opponent. Latifi has also shown lately that he’s very comfortable on the canvas where he has produced five submission victories overall and has five takedowns in his last two fights. Latifi is a well rounded fighter and highly successful when he’s controlling the pace, but he can show a shaky chin at times and can be taken advantage of standing up. This will be Latifi’s second career fight in Las Vegas.
Corey Anderson enters this fight with a 11-4 record and has won 64 percent of his fights by decision. Anderson has split his last six fights and is coming off a July win over Glover Teixeira. Anderson is averaging 4.55 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Anderson is averaging 5.48 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Anderson has been a bit of hit or miss recently, but he has a chance to win his third straight fight and possibly grab the biggest win of his career to take things to the next level. Anderson is a light heavyweight who has some striking power, but he’s more of a grappler and takedown artist with a background in wrestling. Anderson has attempted 100 takedowns in his UFC career and is averaging almost 12 minutes per fight. Anderson has better conditioning than most guys his size, defends takedowns well and has an effective ground and pound where he’s landing 27 percent of his strikes on the canvas. Anderson is a unique fighter in this division and has won seven of his eight career decisions. However, like Latifi, Anderson has shown a questionable chin throughout his career, so he’s suspect against a quality striker. This will be Anderson’s fifth career fight in Las Vegas.
Anderson is worth a look with the plus money here given that he’s the much bigger fighter not only in height, but he has a serious reach and leg advantage as well. Anderson could smother Latifi if this fight goes to the ground and make life a living hell for the majority of the bout. However, Latifi has been terrific with his takedown defense and is no stranger to success on the ground given his background in submission wrestling. Latifi should be able to hold his own on the canvas if need be while controlling where this fight ends up. I also give Latifi the edge in standup striking, as he’s the more compact fighter and usually lands a clean shot at some point. Given Anderson’s questionable chin, that could very well be the difference.
I like Latifi in this fight.