The UFC makes its way to San Antonio this weekend for another very strong card in the form of UFC on ESPN 4. Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards will do battle in an exciting Welterweight main event, while Aleks Oleinik and Walt Harris will compete in the Heavyweight Co-Main. We’ll preview and provide our best bets for the top 3 fights on this card.
Rafael dos Anjos
The former Lightweight champion has had a storied MMA career to date, entering this fight with a 29-11 record. He is now 4-2 since moving up to Welterweight, including an impressive submission of Kevin Lee last time out. Known for his elite ability on the ground, 10 of his wins have come by way of submission.
Edwards continues to rapidly climb the rankings, winning his last 7 fights to move to 17-3 for his career. This includes high-profile decision wins over both Donald Cerrone and Gunnar Nelson in his last 2 fights. He has strong size and reach for the Welterweight division, winning 6 of his fights by knockout.
Prediction: Dos Anjos to win $2.10
The underdogs have done very well in main events of late and I really fancy Dos Anjos to continue that trend here. I think he is the hungrier and more experienced fighter than Edwards, knowing this could be his last chance of getting a title shot. He also is much stronger on the ground than his opponent and I expect him to take it there early and often. Their striking ability is relatively even, however the all-around game of Dos Anjos gives him an edge here.
An absolute veteran of the game, Oleinik enters this bout with a 57-12-1 career record. He has admittedly faded somewhat of late, losing 3 of his last 7 contests. Renowned for his truly elite ground game, 45 of his wins have come via submission.
The big ticket enters this bout with a 12-7-1 record, with all of his wins coming via knockout. He is one of the more powerful men in the UFC, standing at 6’5” and typically weighing well over 260 pounds before his weight cut. He hasn’t been in the best of form lately, with just 2 wins in his last 5 fights.
Prediction: Harris by KO
This is your classic ground specialist vs striker matchup. With how one-dimensional Oleinik is, I like Harris primarily due to his athleticism and takedown defence. As long as he keeps this one on the feet, I back his elite striking ability to take care of Oleinik by KO here.
After a handful of dominant seasons in the NFL, a few suspensions meant that Hardy took to MMA. He has a solid 4-1 record as a professional, his only loss coming via DQ. Known primarily as an excellent striker, all of his wins have come via knockout.
Adams enters this bout with even a lower MMA profile than Hardy, going just 5-1 in his career. He has only two previous UFC fights, winning and losing 1 each. Also primarily a striker, his wins have all been via knockout.
Prediction: Hardy to Win $1.90
With two relatively athletic and inexperienced strikers coming up against each other, this is about an even matchup as you can get. Having already had a few UFC main event appearances, I like Hardy’s ability to handle the occasion better. He has devastating striking and is a very quick mover, giving him the slight edge at even money.