UFC Fight Night 183 is headlined by an exciting lightweight clash between Rafael Dos Anjos and Paul Felder, who steps up on short notice to save the card.
Here is my breakdown of the main event from a betting perspective.
Rafael Dos Anjos
After falling on hard times up in the welterweight division, Rafael Dos Anjos drops back down to lightweight where he resumes his goal to hold the belt once again.
Interestingly, the Brazilian left the lightweight division specifically because he was finding it hard to make the weight – and I would assume that hasn’t changed now that he’s four years older.
Dos Anjos has always had good cardio, but I’ll be interested to see if the weight cut affects his performance on Saturday.
On the feet, this fight should be close. Dos Anjos has a little more finesse in terms of pure boxing ability, but he’s facing another aggressive Muay Thai striker who won’t mind trading with him blow for blow.
As a southpaw, I expect Dos Anjos to rip body kicks and inside low kicks all night (and receive many of the same shots in return).
The Brazilian should have a big advantage if he can get the fight to the mat, but the risk of burning his gas tank on failed takedown attempts might be a deterrent to him.
While training for a marathon next year, Paul Felder decided to take this fight on less than a week’s notice.
I’m sure “The Irish Dragon” is in shape, but there is a difference between fight shape and just being fit and healthy. Felder looked pretty drained on the scales, but his cardio has always been one of his strong points.
While Felder can hold his own in open space, I think the clinch is where he’ll have his biggest advantage.
Felder has some of the nastiest elbows in the game and if he can open up some cuts on the face of Dos Anjos, that could help him to rack up a lead.
I don’t think he’s out of his depth if he does get taken by the BJJ black belt. In fact, Felder is fully capable of inflicting damage with his elbows from the bottom – as we saw in his fight against Edson Barboza.
This is an extremely tough fight to call and it’s hard to be confident on either side.
If I had to pick a winner, I would side with Rafael Dos Anjos – mainly because his hands are a little sharper and he’s had a full camp to train. That said, I don’t see any value on the Brazilian at -200 and I would probably take his decision line if I was forced to make a bet.
Pick: Rafael Dos Anjos by decision +150