UFC: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards preview

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

July 18th, 2019

Rafael dos Anjos (29-11) vs. Leon Edwards (17-3), Saturday, ESPN

UFC free pick: Leon Edwards (-130)

Time isn't on Rafael dos Anjos' side, but the aging grappler bounced back from consecutive losses to Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman with a submission win over Kevin Lee at UFC Fight Night 154. While dos Anjos has lost as much as he's won over his last eight fights, those losses have come against upper-tier competition, and while the jury is still out on Leon Edwards, he is a narrow favorite in the UFC on ESPN main event.

Edwards is taking a significant step up in competition but carries a tremendous advantage in height and reach, as well as the momentum of a seven-fight win streak. While dos Anjos will  enter the octagon with no intention of leaving as a gatekeeper, the physical advantages Edwards has bode poorly for such a high-mileage veteran.

Should dos Anjos take the fight into close quarters, it could take a much different turn, as he has shown even in defeats against top welterweights he is still capable of defending himself in the clinch and on the ground. Edwards as a counter puncher is not going to fight in a manner to slow dos Anjos down, so he may have to dig deep and fight against his character to keep the wily veteran at bay.

Edwards has too many advantages to let this fight go. It will get chippy, as dos Anjos is still good enough to make it a rough night for him, but Edwards will keep dos Anjos at bay with his superior size and reach on the way to a victory via decision.

The Edwards-dos Anjos bout is the headliner Saturday, but you can also bet all the night's UFC action on BetAmerica!