A lightweight bout headlines UFC Vegas 58, as former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos takes on Rafael Fiziev. Since returning to 155 pounds, dos Anjos has reeled off consecutive wins, beating Renato Moicano and Paul Felder. Fiziev is coming off a spinning wheel kick knockout of Brad Riddell in his previous fight.
UFC odds have Fiziev as the favorite.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev Details
LW – #7 Rafael dos Anjos (31-13-0) vs. LW – #10 Rafael Fiziev (11-1-0)
Date: Saturday, July 9, 2022 | Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: UFC Apex – Enterprise, Nevada | TV: ESPN2
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev Odds
Odds to Win: dos Anjos +185 | Fiziev -225
How Will Fight End: KO/TKO/DQ +150 | Submission +550 | Decision -165
Will the fight go the distance? Yes -165 | No +120
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev Analysis
Rafael dos Anjos has had a storied career, winning the UFC Lightweight Championship and challenging for the UFC Welterweight title. He has UFC lightweight wins over Rob Emerson, Kyle Bradley, Terry Etim, George Sotiropoulos, Kamal Shalorus, Anthony Njokuani, Mark Bocek, Evan Dunham, Donald Cerrone, Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, Jason High, and the aforementioned, Felder and Moicano.
At welterweight, dos Anjos had mixed results but still managed to pick up wins against Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny, Robbie Lawler, and Kevin Lee. He lost four times at welterweight in the UFC, two of those being the biggest names in the division, Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.
Meanwhile, Rafael Fiziev is a shiny new toy in the lightweight division. A highly touted prospect, many consider Fiziev a future title contender. Fiziev debuted in the UFC, losing to Magomed Mustafaev. Since that fight, he’s run through Alex White, Marc Diakiese, Moicano, Bobby Green, and Riddell. This contest against dos Anjos will either be a passing of the torch or a cold dose of reality.
Both fighters enter the cage at the same height, but Fiziev will have a 1.5-inch reach advantage. It looks as though Fiziev will have a power advantage, getting 64% of his wins by KO/TKO, but he only averages 0.02 more knockdowns per 15 minutes. There may not be much of a power difference, but Fiziev knows how to finish his opponents once they are hurt.
The Brazilian will have a distinct grappling edge, picking up 32% of his wins by submission to Fiziev’s nine. Still, dos Anjos will be extremely hard to finish; in 44 fights, he’s only lost by knockout or submission three times. He easily has more experience averaging four minutes and eight seconds more of fight time, to go along with 32 more bouts.
Fiziev is eight years younger than dos Anjos and will be the faster of the two fighters. He has lightning-quick kicks and is a very dynamic striker. On the other hand, dos Anjos is an intelligent boxer and a southpaw, which always gives a fighter a slight edge.
Fiziev lands at an impressive volume, averaging 5.35 significant strikes per minute, while dos Anjos lands 3.62. However, increased output usually comes with additional punishment; Fiziev absorbs 2.33 more significant strikes per minute than dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos has a significant advantage on the mat, averaging 1.51 more takedowns per 15 minutes than Fiziev. Still, Fiziev has a 95% takedown defense rate, so getting the fight to the mat will be tough.
This contest does feel like a passing of the torch. Fiziev looks to be the faster of the two fighters and has the hunger that youth provides. That’s not to say that dos Anjos is done. In fact, dos Anjos has looked great in his return to lightweight. The oddsmakers may underestimate dos Anjos in this fight, but I still expect Fiziev to come away victorious.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev Prediction
The Picks: Fiziev by Decision (+125)
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