Two UFC lightweight luminaries will aim to make their case for a title shot this weekend, as Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev are set to clash in the main event of Saturday's fight night. Have a look at our dos Anjos-Fiziev picks below before this weekend's event.
The third time may finally be the charm for dos Anjos and Fiziev this Saturday, with these two lightweight contenders booked to close out the UFC's return to the Apex after two previous bookings failed to pan out. Fiziev's visa issues prompted a first February date to be rescheduled to March's UFC 272, only for Fiziev to test positive for COVID-19 just a few days prior and leave dos Anjos to face Renato Moicano at a catchweight on short notice. The Brazilian now heads to Vegas four months removed from his dominant win over Moicano, while Fiziev is riding a five-fight win streak.
Will dos Anjos' well-rounded game earn him the nod, or will Fiziev make it six in a row with his lauded striking?
Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev Fight Info
Date/Time: Saturday, July 9, 9 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV
Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev Odds Analysis
Fiziev's impressive streak and ferocious stopping power were enough to make him the betting favorite of this pivotal lightweight clash, with FanDuel listing him as high as -235 and DraftKings Sportsbook offering the best value at -205. If you're counting on Fiziev to treat dos Anjos to his first knockout loss in over six years, you'll find an eighth career KO/TKO at a compelling +225 with DraftKings.
Those siding with dos Anjos' edge in experience may be surprised by this week's betting lines, as FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet all have the 44-fight veteran at +180. The ex-champ is no stranger to five-round fights and has gone the distance in eight of his last 10, so if you're expecting him to end Fiziev's streak, a decision victory at +350 with DraftKings is certainly worth considering.
Rafael dos Anjos Betting Profile
After a near three-year experiment at welterweight that yielded mixed results, dos Anjos returned to 155 pounds and peak form in late 2020, claiming an impressive decision over Paul Felder before outclassing a game Moicano this past March. Even at 37, the former lightweight champ boasts an endless motor and can push a relentless pace while throwing strikes in bunches for five solid rounds. Dos Anjos is also a master at timing his level changes and scoring takedowns, and with a veritable dynamo standing across from him on Saturday, the ex-titleholder will have to rely on his combinations and wrestling equally to keep a dangerous Fiziev honest.
Rafael Fiziev Betting Profile
Fiziev's maiden voyage to the Octagon was spoiled by Magomed Mustafaev in 2019, but he hasn't lost since. The 29-year-old has earned five straight wins and a seat at the proverbial contender's table over a run that includes a brutal KO of Moicano, an enthralling decision win over Bobby Green, and a wheel-kick KO of Brad Riddell he scored this past December. A technically proficient striker with a solid Muay Thai background, Fiziev can put a man's lights out in myriad ways, and now that he's tasked with a workhorse in dos Anjos, his volume, accuracy, and shot selection will have to be on point come fight night.
Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev Picks
- Dos Anjos to win (+180 via FanDuel) ???
- Dos Anjos by decision (+350 via DraftKings) ???
Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev Predictions
Dos Anjos to win (+180)
Not only does dos Anjos have more ways to win, he has the fight IQ to make the needed adjustments over a long, trying fight. Yes, Fiziev has won by knockout in seven of his 11 pro victories and can leave most lightweights counting the lights with a single shot, but dos Anjos won't keep the action standing if the Kazakh-born striker's mitts begin finding their home. Much as I'd love to see these two trade leather in bunches from first bell to last, I expect a methodical dos Anjos to pick his shots and surprise Fiziev with a few perfectly timed takedowns throughout Saturday's closer in a vintage performance.
Dos Anjos by decision (+350)
Dos Anjos holds a pair of enormous advantages over Fiziev in his conditioning and experience in five-round fights, and I'm banking on him to lean on them come fight night. Dangerous as Fiziev is, he faded late in his duel with Green last year, while dos Anjos has treated us to more than a few five-round, 100-strike efforts over his illustrious UFC career. He'll likely eat some nasty zingers from Fiziev in the early rounds, but look for dos Anjos to pull away from the third stanza onwards by putting a slowing Fiziev on his back and chewing the clock with his smothering top game to claim his third straight five-round decision.
Where to Bet on Dos Anjos-Fiziev Picks
Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:
Dos Anjos-Fiziev picks made on 6/16/2022 at 10:07 a.m. ET.