Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards
|Date & Time||Saturday July 20, 2019, 11:30 PM (EDT)|
San Antonio, Texas
The Line: RDA +103 / Edwards -117 -- Over/Under:
Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 4 at the AT&T Center.
Rafael dos Anjos enters this fight with a 29-11 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by decision. dos Anjos has split his last eight fights and is coming off a May win over Kevin Lee. dos Anjos is averaging 3.62 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. dos Anjos is averaging 1.96 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. dos Anjos completely dominated Lee in his welterweight debut, wearing him down in the clinch and eventually ending the fight in the fourth round with a arm-triangle choke. dos Anjos now looks for back-to-back wins for the first time in two years. dos Anjos is one of the more polished strikers within the division, as he mixes in his punches and kicks well, and he packs a serious ground and pound once on the canvas. With a polished boxing approach and a back belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, dos Anjos can hold his own wherever the fight goes, but he’s much more effective on his feet. However, with submission victories in two of his last three wins, fighters may want to avoid taking this thing to the ground. dos Anjos also has great stamina to be effective each round and has been on the winning side in 14 of 22 career decisions. This will be dos Anjos’ third career fight in Texas.
Leon Edwards enters this fight with a 17-3 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by decision. Edwards has won each of his last seven fights and is coming off a March win over Gunnar Nelson. Edwards is averaging 2.35 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Edwards is averaging 1.33 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 32 percent. Edwards still hasn’t lost since his 2015 bout against Kamaru Usman and his current winning stretch is the best it’s been since joining the UFC five years ago. Edwards is coming off a tight split decision where he was the busier striker and landed the more powerful shots that tilted the victory in his favor. Edwards entered the UFC as a known powerful striker, but it’s his heavy wrestling approach that’s helped him string together all of these victories. Edwards is also a highly effective fighter in the clinch and has good use of his knees and elbows as well. Edwards is a crafty southpaw who can be tricky for his opponents when standing up. This will be Edwards’ second career fight in the United States.
I can understand why Edwards is the slight favorite in this fight given that he’s the younger, longer fighter and has more pop in his hands. However, we just saw dos Santos dominate a very polished wrestler and wear him down with ease. dos Santos may be approaching 35 years old, but he’s relentless with his attack and usually takes advantage of any mistake his opponent makes thanks to a ton of experience and being a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. We also saw Edwards kind of run out of gas in his victory over Donald Cerrone, and I’m sure dos Santos will take a similar approach. There’s some fighters who you should always consider at plus money and dos Santos is one of them.
I’ll back RDA in his second win of the year.