The UFC heads back to San Antonio, Texas, this Saturday, July 20, for UFC on ESPN 4.
The main event of the evening is a fantastic welterweight bout that will see Rafael dos Anjos compete against Leon Edwards. All of the six-fight main card is high-quality action, as well.
As always, we here at WagerBop are committed to bringing you the best odds, breakdowns and actionable betting strategies for every major sporting event around the world.
So before dos Anjos and Edwards enter the cage on Saturday night, let’s share with you what side you should be betting on.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards
The last time that Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards experienced defeat was to the current champion of the UFC welterweight division, Kamaru Usman. Now, they’ll face each other in a highly-important 170-pound fight that will see the winner emerge once again as a true threat to the fighters at the top of the division.
Rafael dos Anjos
Rafael dos Anjos’ career has taken a slight downturn in recent years now that his days of reigning over the UFC lightweight division has come to an end. But “RDA” has found a new home at a heavier weight class, where he has been imposing against dominant contenders of the division both in victory and defeat.
Dos Anjos picked up three wins in 2017 to get his time as a welterweight started. From there, he was already in a position to challenge the best of the rest. Unfortunately for Dos Anjos, however, he matches up poorly against the likes of elite wrestlers/pressurers in the division such as current champ Usman and top contender Colby Covington.
The Brazilian dropped unanimous decisions to both of these fighters before bouncing back with a big submission victory against former lightweight Kevin Lee in May this year.
Just as Dos Anjos has quietly been making an impact in the welterweight division, Leon Edwards’ run of seven-straight wins hasn’t turned many heads, either.
With five decision wins in those seven fights, Edwards hasn’t done enough to please the fans, and in turn, please UFC president Dana White and the matchmakers.
Wins over Donald Cerrone and Gunnar Nelson have allowed Edwards a shot at one of the highest-regarded fighters in the division, though, and a win over dos Anjos will do nothing but cement Edwards’ name among the list of genuine title contenders at 170 pounds.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards Odds
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards Breakdown
This matchup between Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards is likely to be contested at a fast pace and there’s almost certainly going to be some back-and-forth action.
Dos Anjos and Edwards can be categorized as fighters who are exceptionally well-rounded. While they don’t have any particular specialty or strength in the same way that Demian Maia relies on his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to win fights, for example, they excel at beating fighters using a variety of techniques and in an endless number of positions.
Both fighters are smart, skilled strikers and can stand toe-to-toe with many of the top contenders in the division and likely remain very competitive, if not come out on top. But further to their striking, they are excellent from within the clinch and both have a nasty top game that allows them to employ ground and pound tactics after smashing and slicing through their opponent’s guard.
There are some glaring differences between dos Anjos and Edwards, though, and it’s important to realize these contrasting styles before they meet this weekend at UFC on ESPN 4.
Dos Anjos fights his best fight when he’s allowed to move forward. Elite wrestlers such as Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington swarmed dos Anjos in recent fights and kept him on the back foot. Their strategies not only disallowed dos Anjos from going back to his preferred gameplan but allowed them to accumulate damage/impact and control time while dos Anjos was trying to find a way to separate and become the aggressor.
As it stands, Edwards may be the least-skilled pressure fighter that dos Anjos has fought against for quite some time, and it’s likely that we’ll see a very dangerous “RDA” in the cage on Saturday as a result.
Edwards doesn’t really have the tools to stop dos Anjos from advancing freely. He has some counter-punching ability and a decent clinch, but dos Anjos will likely control the movement of this fight by merely advancing into close-range with Edwards and daring him to throw down. If dos Anjos can start working the body, as he typically does well, and also mix in some his powerful kicks, he’s likely to overwhelm Edwards while standing and force the welterweight to look for an alternative way of winning.
That’s where dos Anjos shines against “well-rounded” fighters, however, because he’s adept across the board as well. It’s unlikely that we’ll see successful repeat takedowns for Edwards and it’s also unlikely that we’ll see Edwards control top position for long against dos Anjos.
In many ways, the odds do seem a little off here and we regard dos Anjos to be a slight favorite.
That means the +108 odds for Rafael dos Anjos to win at Pinnacle are exceedingly generous and worth pursuing.
Bet on Rafael dos Anjos to win: +108 at Pinnacle