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dos Anjos vs Cerrone 2 Odds Preview

How about a little hair of the dog after your UFC 194 hangover? The UFC takes a trip to Orlando for a free and underappreciated event Saturday. The card features Rafael dos Anjos defending his lightweight title for the first time against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. The co-main event is a fight years in the making for MMA fans with Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem facing off.

Main Event: Rafael dos Anjos vs Donald Cerrone

Both Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone have come a long way since their first fight in August 2013. Since that loss, Cerrone has gone 8-0 and dos Anjos has beaten Anthony Pettis to claim the lightweight championship. With the victory over Cerrone earlier in their careers, dos Anjos enters this fight as a -200 favorite accoirding to 5Dimes.

Cerrone has one of the best Muay Thai and striking games in MMA today. Cowboy is at his best when he is pressuring and moving forward in the striking game, which has come easy with his unusually long frame for the weight class. Cerrone is a solid wrestler and works well when on the top on the ground, but he would greatly prefer to be standing. His claim to fame in the striking game is his leg kicks, which are some of the deadliest in the world, but Cerrone likes to move forward behind his long lead jab.

Since losing a decision to Khabib Nurmagomedov in April 2014, dos Anjos has gone 4-0 with victories over Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis. Thanks to the folks at the Gordo-Evolve Team, dos Anjos has grown as a striker, but is still relatively simple in that department.  This isn’t a bad thing necessarily as dos Anjos fully commits to his strikes, putting all his force into his punches. When on the ground, RDA’s creativity and BJJ black belt take over. You would be hard pressed to find a better grappler at 155 lbs.

In their first fight against one another, dos Anjos was able to get close enough to Cerrone to avoid his kicking game while imposing his own boxing game. This fight can go many different directions, but I imagine whoever dictate the striking game will come out on top.

Co-Main Event: Junior dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem

Junior dos Santos has the best boxing in the heavyweight division and possibly in the entire UFC. Cigano uses a very traditional boxing strategy on his feet with the Brazilian starting fights throwing jabs and straights until he finds his range.  Once dos Santos finds his range it could be over as he is one of the fastest and more powerful strikers in MMA. dos Santos has a great sprawl and is a good defensive wrestler in general, but something will need to be wrong to see him shoot for a takedown.

Alistair Overeem is one of the greatest heavyweight finishers of this generation with the Dutchman notching 35 of his 39 wins by stoppage. ‘Reem has excellent Muay Thai and can throw a variety of strikes with knockout power. However, Overeem is more than just a striker with a better-than-most wrestling ability for the heavyweight division and excellent submission skills. The biggest knock against Overeem is his glass jaw with the fighter being knocked out nine times, three of which happened in the UFC.

This is a fight fans have been waiting on for years. I can see this fight going one of two ways, dos Santos will expose Overeem’s weak chin or the Dutchman will take dos Santos down and use his abilities on the mat to win. With dos Santos experience and punching power, he comes into this fight as a -270 fave according to 5Dimes.

Rest of the Main Card

It’s the same old story with Nate Diaz. If he enters the Octagon with the desire to fight he is one of the best technical boxers in the UFC, but too often he comes in looking to cash his cheque and go home. He takes on Michael Johnson, who is no slouch with wins over Edson Barboza and Gleison Tibau.

Randa Markos gets the unenviable task of welcoming top strawweight prospect Karolina Kowalkiewicz to the UFC. The Polish fighter is a flawless 7-0, but has flashed some limited finishing ability with three of her seven fights ending by stoppage. Markos is 5-2 in her career, but has shown remarkable potential to the keen observer. 

UFC on Fox 17: Orlando, Florida

Odds as of December 19 at 5Dimes

  • Rafael dos Anjos -200
  • Donald Cerrone +170
  • Junior dos Santos -270
  • Alistair Overeem +230
  • Michael Johnson -470
  • Nate Diaz +375
  • Randa Markos -200
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz +170
  • Myles Jury -170
  • Charles Oliveira +150
  • Nate Marquardt +335
  • C.B. Dollaway -420
  • Sarah Kauffman -145
  • Valentina Shevchenko +125
  • Tamden McCrory +170
  • Josh Samman -200
  • Danny Castillo +100
  • Nick Lentz -120
  • Jim Alers -115
  • Cole Miller -105
  • Leon Edwards +225
  • Kamaru Usman -265
  • Vincente Luque -135
  • Hayder Hassan +115
  • Francis Zavier Ngnnou -135
  • Luiz Henrique +115