The main event of UFC 185 was announced this weekend, and it will see UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defend his belt against Rafael dos Anjos. The event takes place March 14 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, and thus far Pettis vs. RDA is the only confirmed matchup for the card. The line for this bout has opened for MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas over the weekend at 5Dimes Sportsbook, and it sees Pettis open as a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100) with the comeback on RDA +250 (bet $250). Since it’s a fresh line, there hasn’t been any action on the bout so far, although you can guarantee there will be significant money placed on the bout by bettors over the next few months. I think the opening line is fair, if not a bit low on Pettis. I know RDA has looked fantastic, and trust me, I’ve been nothing but impressed with his evolution over the last few years, but I really do think Pettis is far and away the No. 1 lightweight fighter on the planet and I just don’t see how RDA wins this fight. While RDA has shown improved striking, wrestling, and ground and pound in recent fights to go along with his already-stellar submission game, Pettis has even better striking, has really shored up his takedown defence in recent years, and has just as much, if not more, momentum coming into this fight than RDA does. Yes, RDA knocked out Benson Henderson and beat the brakes out of Nate Diaz, but Pettis submitted Pettis and knocked out Donald Cerrone. So while as impressive as RDA has been as of late, Pettis, in my opinion, has been even more impressive. I think fight will likely stay standing and I think Pettis is going to just be too fast for RDA on the feet and likely will find a way to finish him with strikes. While RDA hasn’t been finished in a while, don’t forget he was knocked out in brutal fashion in his UFC debut by Jeremy Stephens. And with Pettis’ dynamic submission game, don’t be shocked if Pettis finds a way to tap RDA out, even considering the fact RDA is himself a black belt on the mat. I mean hey, this guy tapped out Melendez and Henderson, so it’s definitely possible he can lock RDA up in something slick. Regardless of the outcome, I’m expecting an exciting match here between two of the top three or four lightweights in the world and I’m excited to see what other fights the UFC decides to put on this card.
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