Two high-profile matchups are declared for upcoming fight cards, and my initial thoughts on the two are below.
Kevin Lee vs. Rafael dos Anjos, UFC Fight Night 151
Kevin Lee is done with lightweight as he’ll move up to welterweight and choose on former UFC lightweight winner Rafael dos Anjos in the primary event of UFC Fight Night 151. The episode is set for May 18 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York.
Lee (17-4) is 10-4 at the UFC with all his previous bouts occurring at lightweight. After dropping a decision to Al Iaquinta in his final departure, Lee hinted that he could be moving up a weight class as at age 26 he has grown out of his lightweight frame. Though he will not have the size advantage he’d down in 155lbs, together with his caliber wrestling abilities and improved striking Lee should still be a solid competitor at 170lbs, an the UFC is throwing him to the flame in his divisional introduction against a former title challenger in dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos (28-11) is 17-9 at the UFC and has turned out to be equally an elite lightweight and welterweight. However, at age 34, he’s finally showing signs of a decline with consecutive decision losses to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. Losing to those fighters on newspaper is not a huge deal, but the Usman fight was a blowout and it is possible all the damage has really taken it’s toll on him today. However, I would give RDA a good opportunity to beat Lee in this fight. With Lee’s fame and childhood advantage I expect him to be put as a decently-sized favored, making RDA a fascinating puppy play if that’s really the case.
Luke Rockhold vs. Jan Blachowicz, UFC 239
The first bout added to UFC 239 is a great one, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will move up to light heavyweight to shoot on Jan Blachowicz. The card takes place July 6 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke news of the bout.
Rockhold (16-4) is 6-3 overall from the UFC, together with all his previous bouts coming in middleweight. He hasn’t competed because a KO loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 221 in February 2018, along with his last victory was a TKO win over David Branch in September 2017. Regardless of the long layoff, Rockhold is still a very intriguing addition to the UFC light heavyweight division. It wasn’t that long ago when Rockhold was the best middleweight on the planet when he won five consecutive fights by ending in the UFC over Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Costa Philippou and Tim Boetsch. His shocking KO loss to Bisping in the group rematch at June 2016 will go down as one of the game’s biggest all-time upsets and Rockhold has struggled since then. On the other hand, the thought procedure is that his chin ought to be sturdier going up a weight class, though that remains to be seen.
Blachowicz (23-8) is 6-5 from the UFC and and was pumped out by Thiago Santos in an expected light heavyweight title eliminator. Prior to this, Blachowicz had won four consecutive fights by stoppage and was looking like a title contender. The reduction to Santos shows his true place in the branch, as a luxury gatekeeper who isn’t quite prepared to fight for the belt. That’s why this is fantastic matchmaking from the UFC. Blachowicz is highly ranked yet beatable, so there’s a good chance Rockhold beats him and takes his place in the top-five, which makes him an instant competitor for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones if that occurs. Start looking for Rockhold to be a strong favorite heading into this particular bout.
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker is going to be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.
Read more: collateraldamagemma.com