The MMA schedule throws up another night of action as followers turn their attentions to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York this weekend. UFC Fight Night 152 will be the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first visit to this part of the world and we’re expecting everyone involved, from the fans down to the fighters, to do their bit to mark the occasion. Here are our top Rafael dos Anjos v Kevin Lee betting tips.
The stands will be packed and there will be millions more around the world watching the live coverage provided by ESPN. UK followers can keep track of the bouts on BT Sport, but it’ll be a late one with the main event carrying a 3.30am start time. Worth setting your alarm for? The bill certainly promises much, with a card boasting some eye-catching match ups that will determine the year ahead for the warriors involved.
Rafael dos Anjos v Kevin Lee has been confirmed as the main attraction as two former lightweight champions share the octagon in the hope of grabbing the win needed to catapult one back towards the big time. The fight has been made at welterweight and it will be interesting to see how both handle things in a higher division than the one that brought them so much success in the past.
That bill-topper is supported by a women’s bantamweight contest involving Aspen Ladd and Sijara Eubanks, after we see Antonio Carlos Junior v Ian Heinisch at middleweight, Charles Oliviera v Nik Lentz at lightweight and Davi Ramos v Austin Hubbart, another lightweight contest.
Bookies Keep us Entertained
The best of the evening’s main card will also appear on BT Sport and there’s plenty to keep the sport’s purists entertained on the preliminary card as we catch up on the careers of Megan Anderson, Felicia Spender, Desmond Green, Patrick Cummins, Ed Herman and Danny Roberts.
More than enough to hold your interest on the night and bookmakers have done their bit to help ensure you are kept alert and entertained after midnight. Flick through the betting and back your favourite fighters to win their bouts. Those looking for a bit more of a price can risk their cash in the method of victory market, predicting the fight winner as well as how they will achieve the result – KO, submission or points. That gives us the chance to boost our bank balance while enjoying a great night of action.
Rafael Has Lost Each of His Last Two
34-year-old Brazilian Rafael dos Anjos is a former UFC lightweight champion and is currently ranked number three in the world at welterweight. He will fancy his chances of closing the gap before going on to become a two-weight world champion but to have any chance of achieving that he must win here and do so in style. The more convincing the performance the better the chance he will get another crack at the big time.
The southpaw, based in California and representing the Evolve MMA team, is a third-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a black belt in Muay Thai and that background is still evident in his performances today, rating as a fighter comfortable on the ground or standing and striking. He boasts a professional MMA record of 28 wins from 39 contests with 14 of those victories coming on the scorecards. The spare is made up of nine by submission and five by knockout.
A fighter who enjoys testing himself over the distance, of his 11 defeats we’ve seen eight fall by way of decision, with only two knockout losses and one by submission. On paper, Anjos is a respected fighter but his recent form is sketchy, to put it politely, and he arrives at the arena on fight night having lost each of his last two and four of seven. That won’t do a lot to inspire confidence amongst punters, although bookmakers aren’t in a rush to write him off.
Opponent Kevin Lee has been picked out by the betting traders as the favourite to win this bout but there’s very little in it at the time of writing, bookmakers happy to sit on the fence. That will catch the attention of value hunters who are always keen to take advantage of any indecision on the trading floors. Will they find an angle into this one? It certainly seems possible when flicking through the pre-bout betting and we were surprised by just how open this one is.
26-year-old American Kevin Lee fights out of Las Vegas and represents the Xtreme Couture team. He has a wrestling background and has been active on the MMA scene since 2012. During that time, he has amassed a record of 17 wins from 21 starts which immediately caught our eye. The Motown Phenom is an all-rounder and that can be seen in his results, winning eight by submission, seven by decision and two by knockout. Of his four losses, we also see a fairly even spread of two by decision, one knockout and one submission.
A closer look at Lee’s record shows he has also struggled for consistency of late, losing two of his last three, including his most recent outing. Beaten by Tony Ferguson on UFC 216, submission triangle choke the official result, he bounced back to stop Edson Barboza next time out in Atlantic City at a 157 catchweight. That was followed with a unanimous decision loss to Al Iaquinta in December of last year over five rounds in Milwaukee.
Both Fighters Stand at a Crossroads
This is a real crossroads fight for both men as we’ll see the winner help clean-up his recent record and move towards bigger and better things while another defeat on the card for either man would drive their year off-course at the earliest opportunity. There’s a lot on the line here and that will make this bout all the more enjoyable for neutrals.
Bookmakers have priced Kevin Lee as favourite but, as already mentioned, there really isn’t an awful lot in it. Backers can get their hands on a market best price of 19/20 when betting at William Hill. Tread carefully, however, as many firms offer as tight as 8/11 on the same bet. Prefer to have your cash riding on the experience of dos Anjos? He’s 10/11 at Bet365 and that seems to be the general idea in the betting circle. The pre-fight odds give nothing away, so who should you trust with your cash in this bout?
Lee is much less exposed and that should give him the edge in the latter part of this contest. There’s not a lot in the stats of either man to suggest this will end early, so we’re expecting a tactical affair and youth to make the difference. Aim for a better price and take Kevin Lee to triumph by decision in the method of victory market. That bet will give followers a crack at a higher return. Fancy this grudge match to end inside the distance? There’s 6/1 on Lee winning by submission or 6/1 on Anjos doing the same. Tempting, but we’ll play it safe and back Lee for the win at 19/20 as part of our fight night accumulators.