Dos Anjos Eyes Impressive Comeback Against Red-Hot Ferguson in Mexico
Get ready UFC betting fans, UFC Fight Night is all set to return to Mexico City, with Tony Ferguson finally getting a massive showcase and opportunity to prove he's a serious title contender against former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos, 31, had a five-fight win streak snapped in July when Eddie Alvarez caught him cold, knocking him out in the first round and taking his UFC lightweight title in only his second defense.
An octagon fighter since 2008, Dos Anjos' five fight win streak over Jason High, Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, then-champion Anthony Pettis, and Donald Cerrone was one of the better runs of form any MMA fighter has said since the start of the decade. The loss to Alvarez was sudden; a devastating upset, but not one to overshadow that run of phenomenal performances.
Ferguson is on something of a memorable win streak of his own. The man known as "El Cucuy" has been on an eight-fight win streak since last being defeated by Michael Johnson in May 2012. He's been pulled into deep waters a couple of times by tough opponents like Danny Castillo and Edson Barboza, but has shown constant improvement and varied finishing skills to the delight of UFC betting fans.
Three of Ferguson's last four fights have been named "Performance of the Night" in his favor; the last two compounded by "Fight of the Night" honors. That is why the fighter of Mexican blood has been chosen to top this Fight Night bill in Mexico City.
The fight should hold up to any expectations one might bestow upon it. Dos Anjos is coming off of a knockout loss, but, with that said, is probably more explosive and harder to catch than Ferguson, who was rattled and nearly stopped by UFC newcomer Lando Vannata in his last bout. He survived, and finished Vannata with a D'Arce choke in round two.
Simply put, Dos Anjos is one who enters with a way to win. Ferguson is one who almost always comes to find a way to win. It's a fascinating complex and one which leaves us with a great fight on tab.
Ferguson is a rangy, menacing 5'11 155-lber. Best at crafty submissions but genitally predisposed for tight-in slugfests, Ferguson has only gone the distance four times in 21 wins. He can plug some of the holes of his game with his strength and fortitude.
Like Ferguson, Dos Anjos fights the same way every time. He is not scared to take a punch but is the better defensive fighter with further developed jiu-jitsu skills. He's also a dangerous mid-range striker with whom Ferguson may struggle to compete if not on sheer will and high punch output.
If Ferguson can pick and pop Dos Anjos all the way into deep waters and catch him with a submission late, it would be a huge upset. It's not entirely beyond possible. But Dos Anjos, being one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, rarely makes a mistake. He has cardio which will help him last out a slobberknocker and the poise not to lose sight of his game plan. Everything that makes Ferguson a terrific fighter may work to his detriment in this one.
Main card predictions:
Marcin Held def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (Held, a submission specialist who has held a top spot in Bellator for a number of years, makes his long-awaited UFC debut. Sanchez, 34, has been known as an action fighter. His years as a UFC contender have seemed to have taken their toll. Sanchez is still dangerous but Held's fluidity and youth in his 24 years makes him hard to pick against.)
Ricardo Lamas def. Charles Oliviera via T/KO (We've been down this road before with Oliviera. The Brazilian is a submission artist who bas been steadily improving his weak points. He consistently falls short against guys who rough him up. "The Bully" will do just that, winning behind takedowns and fierce ground n' pound.)
Rashid Magomedov def. Beneil Dariush via unanimous decision (Magomedov has looked impressive in walking through Brazilian foes Rodrigo Damm, Elias Silverio, and Gilbert Burns in Brazil. Another great Russian Sambist emerging in the UFC, Magomedov faces a dangerous BJJ and Muay Thai black belt in Dariush. I think it's a hard-fought decision win for Magomedov in the end). Check the sportsbook for current odds.
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