UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos Date: March 14, 2015 Location: Dallas, Texas Venue: American Airlines Center Broadcast: PPV UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis The last WEC lightweight champion and the creator of the “Showtime Kick,” Anthony Pettis (18-2) is one of the most exciting and interesting fighters to come around in a long time. A Duke Roufus pupil, Pettis has learned much from his vaunted trainer, and consistently shows it off in the cage every time he fights. Pettis has knockout power, fantastic ring IQ and can submit a good majority of lightweights in the UFC. At only 27 years old, Pettis will be a top-level mixed martial artist for a long time. Since coming over to he UFC he is 5-1 with wins over Gilbert Melenez, Benson Henderson, Joe Lauzon, Jeremy Stephens and Donald Cerrone with his lone loss coming to Clay Guida. He will now look to move to 6-1 in the UFC when he takes on Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 in what should be an exciting lightweight title fight, but also a fight that he should win. UFC Lightweight Contender Rafael dos Anjos One of the top lightweight fighters in the world, Rafael dos Anjos (23-7) has had a great career in the UFC, going 12-5 overall with wins over the likes of Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone and Evan Dunham to stake his place in the top five at 155lbs. The 30-year-old Brazilian has great BJJ, improved striking, and fantastic takedown defence, and has emerged as a real threat for the belt. His only recent loss came to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it was a bad matchup for RDA and it didn’t set him that far back in the divisional ranks. He bounced back from the loss to Nurmagomedov with a KO win over Jason High, and the UFC felt fit to give him a main event opportunity against Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night 49 in the biggest fight to his career to date. He won that fight by first-round knockout, and then picked up another huge win over Nate Diaz in his next fight to emerge as a title threat. With Nurmagomeov out with an injury, the UFC needed dos Anjos in a pinch, and now he’ll fight Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 for the UFC lightweight championship of the world. Opening UFC 185 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Pettis a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100) while dos Anjos opened as a +250 underdog (bet $100 to win $250) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Pettis is the undisputed champion and coming off of his submission win over Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181, it’s hard to see him losing anytime soon. His striking is technical and powerful, his submission prowess is exceptional, and his takedown defence is getting better and better every time he fights. That being said, RDA has improved exponentially, and is coming off of three-straight wins, including a brutal beatdown of Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 13. But despite his improvements, don’t forget this is the same guy who lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov not even a year ago, and it’s the same guy who was knocked out by Jeremy Stephens in his UFC debut. Again, he’s improved, but he’s fighting Pettis and if you want to beat the champ, you can’t make any mistakes. It’s just hard to imagine seeing Pettis losing right now, especially to someone like dos Anjos who doesn’t have that grinding wrestling style. So Pettis opens as a big favorite and I agree with it, and I think he’ll win this fight in impressive fashion as he continues his reign of destruction at 155lbs.
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