UFC on ESPN 39: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev Picks and Predictions

Rafael Fiziev vs. Rafael dos Anjos

UFC: Saturday, July 9th at 9:00 PM ET

Betting Odds: -- Rafael Fiziev -210 / Rafael dos Anjos +180 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev face off on Saturday in a lightweight bout in the main event of UFC on ESPN 39 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Dos Anjos is ranked 7th in the division while Fiziev is ranked 10th. This is a matchup between a veteran and a guy who is trying to shoot up the rankings. 

Rafael dos Anjos comes into this fight with a 31-13 record overall and he has won two fights in a row. Two fights ago against Paul Felder he won by split decision, and in his last fight he beat Renato Moicano by unanimous decision. Dos Anjos is averaging 3.62 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.24 significant strikes per minute. Dos Anjos is a strong wrestler and he is averaging 1.99 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 37 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 58 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. 

On the other side of this fight is Rafael Fiziev who sits with an 11-1 record overall and he has won five fights in a row. Fiziev’s last fight came against Brad Ridell in December of 2021 and it was midway through the first round that he finished the fight by knockout. Over his last five fights, Fiziev has had three unanimous decision wins and the other two were wins by knockout. Fiziev is averaging 5.35 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 5.57 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 0.48 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 50 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 95 percent of his takedown attempts and that is going to be a key in this fight.

Dos Anjos is an underdog in this fight, but I don’t think he should be. There is no doubt that he is getting old, but dos Anjos is elite when he gets the fight to the ground, and he will get the fight there here. Fiziev has been strong at stopping the takedown but I think dos Anjos is going to get the fight down there. Once dos Anjos gets the fight to the ground, he is going to control the fight. Back dos Anjos to win this fight on the money line. 

Shane’s Pick dos Anjos ML +180

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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