This is a UFC fight preview, prediction and match odds for Rafael Dos Anjos vs Robbie Lawler.
Two veterans enter the Octagon this weekend for a long-awaited match-up in the 170-pound division. Rafael Dos Anjos comes up against Robbie Lawler in a top-10 ranking bout, the winner of which could be in line for a title shot against current champ Tyrone Woodley. The two UFC stars have covered a long and colourful career, and these are the types of battles that can take years off a fighter. That being said, having the opportunity to edge closer to the welterweight belt is enough incentive to put on display for Dana and the matchmakers – let’s hope the fight lives up to the hype.
Dos Anjos comes into this fight as a reborn welterweight after having publicly expressed his concern about making weight at 155 pounds. Now fighting at a more natural weight, Dos Anjos has a fresh lease of life and at 33 has plenty left in the tank. In contrast, Lawler has been a welterweight mainstay for years and has proved his excellence in this division by owning the championship belt. Lawler is also pushing in the autumn years, although as usual looks lean and fit for purpose at 170 pounds.
The match-up of fighting styles should make for an interesting encounter, one that UFC fans will be torn over which can prevail this weekend. Dos Anjos is a technically sound submission artist by trade although is no stranger to trading punches. The Brazilian has proved to be competent at finishing opponents in both modes of execution. Lawler is a traditional brawler and there’s little chance of that game plan changing in this bout – expect the American to display a methodical but poised attack with a view to finishing Dos Anjos by heavy strikes by fist or kicks.
Rafael Dos Anjos Form and Fight Record
It’s been a mixed bag of results for Dos Anjos in his recent UFC tenure. The fighter claims to have his head in a good place despite chalking up losses at lightweight. In his most recent performance, Dos Anjos defeated Neil Magny with a signature submission before the final bell, which proceeded a win and a loss both by unanimous decision, against Tarec Saffiedine and Tony Ferguson respectively. He has showed confidence in dishing out strikes by claiming a TKO/KO against Donald Cerrone, although has been just as susceptible to falling short by the knockout power of Eddie Alvarez.
Last Five Matches in UFC
Win via submission – Neil Magny
Win via unanimous decision – Tarec Saffiedine
Loss via unanimous decision – Tony Ferguson
Loss via TKO/KO – Eddie Alvarez
Win via TKO/KO – Donald Cerrone
Watch the UFC replay of Rafael Dos Anjos vs Neil Magny
Robbie Lawler Form and Fight Record
Lawler has plenty to make up for after putting on a rather lacklustre display against Donald Cerrone in his last performance. Ruthless drew out the fight to the full five rounds without managing to stop his opponent – perhaps this time he will act to finish the job faster. He has emerged victorious from four of his last five fights with only the current champion Tyrone Woodley causing him an upset. Despite the notorious knockout power he possesses, Lawler hasn’t been proficient in putting his opponents to sleep with strikes of late. The majority of wins have come by unanimous or split decision.
Last Five Matches in UFC
Win via unanimous decision – Donald Cerrone
Loss via TKO/KO – Tyron Woodley
Win via split decision – Carlos Condit
Win via TKO/KO – Rory MacDonald
Win via split decision – Johny Hendricks
Watch the UFC replay of Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone
UFC Betting Odds
Here is a round-up of the popular markets according to leading global betting operators. Odds are displayed in fractions.
Rafael Dos Anjos to win – 4/5 l Bet365
Robbie Lawler to win – 10/11 l Skybet
Rafael Dos Anjos to win via Decision or Technical Decision – 7/2 l Bet365
Rafael Dos Anjos by points – 7/2 l Paddy Power
Our Tips and Prediction
Our gut instinct says Dos Anjos will walk away with the victory this weekend, although Lawler will make his work for it. Last time out Lawler looked like a shadow of his former self, devoid of the killer instinct that took him all the way to the top of the pecking order at 170 pounds.
Conversely, Dos Anjos has reinvented himself as a high-class welterweight operator and this could be his time to step up through the ranks. A win by submission is a viable outcome, although we wouldn’t write off a stoppage by KTO in the later rounds.
The bookies have this one relatively even meaning there’s no clear favourite to back. One thing to note is that stamina could be the deciding factor in who wins – hence why we’re betting on the more dynamic and energetic Dos Anjos to win via TKO/KO.