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UFC on ESPN 4: dos Anjos vs Edwards Odds and Picks

UFC on ESPN 4 Betting Odds

The Octagon returns to the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, for the first time in five years for UFC on ESPN 4. The card is headlined with a bout in the welterweight division as Rafael dos Anjos collides with Leon “Rocky” Edwards. The former lightweight champion, dos Anjos, is a slight EVEN underdog with the Brit, Edwards, coming back at -130. I have a breakdown and a pick for each of the fights on the main card.

Scott Hastings’ 2019 Prediction Record To Date
Straight UpPicking FavoritesPicking Underdogs
62-4752-3110-16

Rafael dos Anjos vs Leon Edwards

Dos Anjos (EVEN) is back in action following a short layoff, having earned a fourth-round submission victory over Kevin Lee in May. RDA made the jump to welterweight after losing his title to Eddie Alvarez in 2016 and a decision loss to Tony Ferguson later that year. He made his way to the top of the welterweight division before losing to current champion Kamaru Usman and current interim champ Colby Covington.

At this point in RDA’s career, he is a bit of a litmus test or gatekeeper for the welterweight division. However, this isn’t a slight on his talent as he just seems like a step behind the top of the division, so if you want a crack at the belt you have to get through dos Anjos. He is very well-rounded, with fantastic boxing and footwork, while also having a strong wrestling game in which he averages 2.02 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Edwards (-130) aims to extend his winning streak to eight, with his last defeat coming in December 2015 against the current welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman. Most recently, “Rocky” earned a narrow split-decision victory over submission specialist Gunnar Nelson.

Last June, Rocky got through a tough battle with Donald Cerrone, outstriking Cowboy 101-64 and earning a unanimous decision in a five-round bout. The England native doesn’t allow a lot of breathing room for his opponents, always trying to back them against the cage and let his hands fly, and he’s very fast on his feet in getting out of danger when his opponents try to fire back. Lastly, he has really quick strikes but doesn’t have a ton of power, earning just two knockout wins over his 11-fight UFC career.

I think the book is out on how to defeat RDA and that is to get in his face and put on a ridiculous pace, pushing him against the cage and grinding him out. However, that doesn’t really seem like Edwards’ fight style. He typically moves forward but will stop when he’s just on the outside of his opponent’s reach and tries to counter or throw long jabs and kicks to basically point-fight rather than fight to finish.

Prediction: Rafael dos Anjos (EVEN) via decision

Aleksei Oleinik vs Walt Harris

Oleinik (+125) looks to get back on track following his first-round knockout loss to Alistair Overeem in April. “The Boa Constrictor” had been on a two-fight winning streak prior to his dance with the “Demolition Man,” earning first-round submission victories over Junior Albini and Mark Hunt. The Russia native has had a long career with a 57-12 record and 45 submission wins.

The 42-year-old is very strong but doesn’t have much of a standup game, typically pawing away with a jab and hurling a wild, sloppy overhand right when his opponent is in the pocket. However, Oleinik consistently shoots in looking to drag fights to the floor, where he has earned his nickname “The Boa Constrictor” – 45 of his 57 professional wins have ended by submission.

Harris (-155) is attempting to extend his unbeaten streak to four fights as he returns to the Octagon following a victory in May. “The Big Ticket” needed just 50 seconds to dispose of Sergey Spivak via knockout on May 4 and had his win over Andrei Arlovski in December 2018 overturned to a no-contest after he tested positive for a tainted supplement.

The 36-year-old has terrific striking and combinations that were on full display when he ran through Spivak in May. He moves fairly well for a true heavyweight, with lots of feints, and does a decent job of mixing up his strikes. However, sometimes he becomes very hesitant in letting his hands go and he usually stands heavy on his front foot, which makes him susceptible to being taken down.

This fight is a pretty simple one to break down but a difficult one in choosing which outcome will prevail. Basically, Harris is going to do his best to keep the fight on the feet where he has a sizable advantage, while Oleinik aims to drag the fight to the floor where he would likely make short work of the Big Ticket. Harris was submitted and looked horrible trying to defend a takedown from Fabricio Werdum in 2017, so unless he’s fixed that, he’s in deep trouble.

Prediction: Aleksei Oleinik (+125) via submission

Greg Hardy vs Juan Adams

Hardy (-115) is looking for his first winning streak inside the Octagon in just his third fight under the UFC banner. The “Prince of War” lost his debut against Allen Crowder by disqualification after throwing an illegal knee, but bounced back in a complete demolition of Dmitrii Smoliakov in April with a first-round knockout.

There’s no doubt Hardy has ridiculous one-punch power and is very fast and athletic for the heavyweight division. However, he is still just a prospect and he has big holes in his overall game. The Prince of War tends to throw all his punches with 100 percent power and from the hip while typically dropping his back hand, which leaves him very susceptible to getting countered, and his footwork is clumsy.

Adams (-115) aims to rebound from his first career loss suffered in early May. “The Kraken” was dragged to the ground and smothered by Arjan Bhullar in that loss that went to the judges’ scorecards. The Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series alumni began his UFC career with a third-round knockout win over Chris de la Rocha in December.

The 27-year-old has a relentless jab and moves pretty well for a heavyweight. He does have a big tendency to drop his hands when he engages with his opponent, which is an extremely dangerous way to fight when you get in the pocket and exchange hands. That being said, he’s never been knocked out so he’s got a pretty good chin on him. Additionally, he has fairly good conditioning as well, dishing out over 100 significant strikes in each of his first two UFC fights.

I think the longer this fight goes, the more the momentum swings in favor of Juan Adams. Greg Hardy tends to try to finish his opponent within the first minute of a fight and if he doesn’t accomplish the feat, he tends to slow the pace down extremely and really lunges at strikes to keep his opponent at bay. I don’t like how Adams drops his hands in striking range, especially going up against a heavy hitter like Hardy, but I think his footwork will allow him to avoid major damage early and I think he picks up the pace later.

Prediction: Juan Adams (-115) via knockout

James Vick vs Dan Hooker

Vick (+105) is on his first-ever losing slide, entering this fight having dropped his last two bouts. Justin Gaethje made short work of “The Texecutioner” last August, needing just one minute 27 seconds to knock him out, and then Vick fell by unanimous decision to Paul Felder in February. Prior to this recent skid, the Texas native had been on a four-fight winning streak, three of which were finishes.

Vick is a very tall and long fighter for the lightweight division, using his reach and kicks to maintain distance, and really loads up on strikes when his opponent tries to get in close. Additionally, he mixes up his strikes well, varying from kicks to punches, high and low. One of the biggest issues for the Texecutioner is that when he backs up under pressure, he typically drops his hands and has his chin high up in the air, which led to him being knocked out by Justin Gaethje.

Hooker (-135) looks to get back on track following his first loss since 2016. “The Hangman” had been on a pretty nice streak recently, rattling off four straight victories, all of which were finishes, as he climbed the lightweight standings. However, he was stopped in his tracks with a third-round knockout loss to Edson Barboza following some nasty body shots last December.

The 29-year-old has a calm demeanor in the Octagon, often standing near striking range with his hands by his waist. He does a terrific job throwing multiple strikes at a time, often throwing a leg kick followed by a punch. He showed amazing grit and determination when he was fairly outclassed by Edson Barboza in December, absorbing a ton of damage but continuing to move forward until he was eventually stopped from body shots.

This has Fight of the Night written all over it, with two hard-nosed warriors who will likely keep this fight standing the duration of the bout. Vick does a great job at maintaining distance and Hooker likes to move forward and push the pace – a really interesting battle. The way the Texecutioner backs up with his chin exposed could be a huge issue as the Hangman does a great job throwing combinations as he moves forward and he might be able to find the off switch.

Prediction: Dan Hooker (-135) via knockout

Alexander Hernandez vs Francisco Trinaldo

Hernandez (-190) aims to get back in the win column after his eight-fight winning streak was snapped in his last time out. “The Great” had won the first six of those fights outside of the Octagon and won his first two in the UFC in dominant fashion. The hype train was slightly derailed in January when he squared off with Donald Cerrone and lost via second-round knockout.

The Texas native is an aggressive, somewhat wild fighter, constantly pressing forward and bouncing left and right, in and out. He typically sets everything up from his left jab, looking to land his powerful right or looking for an entry for a takedown. Hernandez does tend to just throw one strike at a time and will hang out in the pocket a little too long after throwing a strike.

Trinaldo (+155) is looking to put an end to his win-one, lose-one streak over his last five fights. A staple in the lightweight division for seven years, “Massaranduba” makes his 19th walk to the Octagon and has a record of 13-5 in the UFC. Most recently, he earned a second-round knockout victory over Evan Dunham in September of last year.

The 40-year-old still possesses a lot of power and is predominantly a counter-striker while rarely taking a step backward. He has tight defense, always keeping his hands high, and has good head and foot movement that makes opponents miss 60 percent of their strike attempts. Additionally, Trinaldo has good takedown defense and is able to scramble and keep the fight standing.

Trinaldo often waits far too long to exchange with his opponents, especially if they back him up. He keeps his hands high but doesn’t usually fire back. This could be the case against Hernandez as The Great is quite elusive and will make Trinaldo work to find openings. Both fighters have good wrestling skills so it’ll be interesting to see if either goes that route if they are absorbing damage on the feet.

Prediction: Alexander Hernandez (-190) via decision

Andrei Arlovski vs Ben Rothwell

Arlovski (+155) is searching for his first victory since March of last year, aiming to put an end to his four-fight winless streak. The former champion has been in a tailspin over the last few years, earning just two victories over his last 11 fights, with decision wins over Junior Albini and Stefan Struve. On the positive side of his losses, he hasn’t been finished since January 2017 against Francis Ngannou, a span of seven fights.

“The Pit Bull” uses his kicks well to try to slow down his opponent’s movements and sets up his big overhand right with his jab. He does a great job throwing combinations when he finds his range and gets in exchanges with his opponent. He tends to do a lot of backpedaling, though, hoping that his foe will engage with him and he can land a perfect strike. However, this approach tends to land him with his back against the cage eating several shots in a row.

Rothwell (-190) knocked off some ring rust in March as he returned to the Octagon following a layoff of nearly three years. The Wisconsin native had been on suspension from a failed drug test following his decision loss to Junior dos Santos in April 2016. In Rothwell’s return, he went three rounds with Blagoy Ivanov and ultimately lost via unanimous decision.

The 37-year-old is an imposing figure in the Octagon, always stalking forward willing to walk through punches to test his strength with his own punches. He doesn’t use a lot of movement closing the distance, but rather just slowly inches forward aiming to back his opponent into a corner so he can do some devastating damage.

Arlovski does his best work when he’s pushing the pace and lets his hands fly, but more often than not he stays on the outside throwing long kicks that don’t land. Meanwhile, Rothwell will walk forward for the duration of the bout trying to find opportunities to land his powerful strikes. But he doesn’t have great defense at all, merely ducking his head to one side and storming in with a powerful punch behind it.

Prediction: Ben Rothwell (-190) via decision

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC on ESPN 4: dos Anjos vs Edwards:

UFC on ESPN 4: dos Anjos vs Edwards
  • Rafael dos Anjos EVEN
  • Leon Edwards -130
Odds as of July 16 at Bovada
  • Aleksei Oleinik +125
  • Walt Harris -155
  • Greg Hardy -115
  • Juan Adams -115
  • James Vick +105
  • Dan Hooker -135
  • Alexander Hernandez -190
  • Francisco Trinaldo +155
  • Andrei Arlovski +155
  • Ben Rothwell -190
  • Alex Caceres -145
  • Steven Peterson +115
  • Raquel Pennington +115
  • Irene Aldana -145
  • Sam Alvey +140
  • Klidson Abreu -170
  • Roxanne Modafferi +115
  • Jennifer Maia -145
  • Ray Borg -230
  • Gabriel Silva +180
  • Mario Bautista +165
  • Jin Soo Son -205
  • Domingo Pilarte -325
  • Felipe Colares  +250