Khalil Rountree vs. Eryk Anders
|Date & Time||Saturday April 13, 2019, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
State Farm Arena
The Line: Rountree +148 / Anders -162 -- Over/Under:
Eryk Anders and Khalil Rountree fight Saturday during UFC 236 at the State Farm Arena.
Eryk Anders enters this fight with a 10-1 record and has won 64 percent of his fights by knockout. Anders has lost three of his last four fights and is coming off a December loss to Elias Theodorou. Anders is averaging 3.12 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Anders is averaging 2.05 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Anders is kind of in must-win mode after losing three of his last four fights, two in tight split decisions. Just 3-3 under the UFC banner, Anders needs a victory to kind of keep the hype going and give himself a chance at bigger bouts. Anders is still primarily a striker with a strong upper body and pure knockout potential in his hands. Coming from a deep football background and still learning MMA on the fly, Anders has improved his clinch game these past couple of years and is decent at defending takedowns. Anders is still a work in progress, but his striking and ground and pound has gotten him to this point in just four years and remains his bread and butter. Anders is quickly learning he has to be a bit more polished and balanced if he’s going to start beating notable names. Becoming a more comfortable wrestler would do wonders for Anders. This will be Anders’ first career fight in Georgia.
Khalil Rountree enters this fight with a 6-2-1 record and has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. Rountree has split his last six fights and is coming off a November loss to Johnny Walker. Rountree is averaging 2.3 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 34 percent. Rountree is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rountree bounces back considering he ate a nasty elbow in his last fight that put him to sleep. It was an elbow to the face that you could hear the thud and would swear he broke something. I’m always cautious about fighters returning after being knocked out, as they tend to change their style or become a bit timid. Rountree is an underrated athlete who does his best work from the outside where he can gt comfortable with his stand up and let his hands go. With knockout power in both hands and good at using his legs to distract his opponent, Rountree has to like his chances whenever in a stand up fight. The downside is that Rountree isn’t the best takedown defender in the world and can struggle when his opponent closes the distance, something we obviously saw in his last fight. This will be Rountree’s first career fight in Georgia.
This line is rather surprising when you consider that Rountree is the more polished fighter at this stage of their careers. Yes, Rountree is coming off a devastating knockout and nobody knows what they’re going to get from him in his first fight back. Maybe that has to do something with these prices. However, strictly picking the fight based off the two fighters, Rountree should probably win. Anders usually allows his opponent to fight from the outside and that tends to be Rountree’s specialty. Anders can’t trade strikes and think he’s going to have the upper hand. Anders also seems to be a couple steps behind when fighting above-average opponents, as you can tell he’s still not 100 percent confident in the octagon and can be a bit sluggish at times.
Rountree as an underdog in this spot is probably the best value you’re going to get on this card.