The Bloody Elbow staff has made its predictions for UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Lee, and most of us are going with Kevin Lee to win his welterweight debut over former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. If by any chance RDA wins, then Shakiel Mahjouri should have a crown on his head for being dead-on accurate.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee
Mookie Alexander: I really wanted to pick RDA. Lee is not very good defensively and dos Anjos has the power to hurt and stop him. The problem I see is that… well… those two previous fights happened. And Lee is capable of wearing RDA down and can absolutely dish out some damaging ground-and-pound. Dos Anjos does well when he can pressure, but struggles against wrestlers who can pressure him back. Kevin Lee by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: I’ve now absolutely seen RDA get swamped by big aggressive wrestlers too many times to assume that this time he’s found the key to winning that fight. Even if I think that Lee is probably more vulnerable to RDA’s game than most of the men that have beat him fighting a similar style. That’s still not enough. There’s just too much consistency in the way RDA backs up, gets lost defensively and puts himself on the cage against pressure. Kevin Lee by decision.
Staff picking RDA: Shak
Staff picking Lee: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Zane, Stephie
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Ian Heinisch
Mookie Alexander: The Dan Kelly fight is one in which I’d like to think is something ACJ looked at and realized he had to improve his cardio, this should be a win for Shoeface. Heinisch did extremely well to stifle Cezar Mutante’s game and avoid getting put into his wheelhouse, but I don’t see him repeating that feat against someone as strong and such a dangerous grappler like ACJ. Antonio Carlos Junior by submission, round 1.
Zane Simon: There’s a very good chance Heinisch pulls this out, just by being tough, scrappy, and having a great gas tank. That was pretty much enough for Dan Kelly, and Heinisch is a much faster athlete than Kelly ever was. However, Heinisch also tends to counter takedowns with sub attempts and delivers a lot of very onenote, predictable offense. If ACJ can just stay on the front foot, back him up, and shoot in on him, he should be able to put Heinisch on the mat and in his world. Antonio Carlos Junior by submission, round 1.
Staff picking ACJ: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Heinisch:
Derrick Krantz vs. Vicente Luque
Mookie Alexander: Much props to Krantz for this UFC call-up. He’s been a good fighter on the regional scene. Sadly, he’s going to get mauled. Vicente Luque by KO, round 1.
Phil Mackenzie: Krantz is a big, aggressive puncher who is going to find himself fighting a more accurate and probably more powerful hitter. Luque has cleaned up his dodgy cardio, and retains a pretty good sprint-grappling submission game which he can turn to if he doesn’t clobber Krantz out of the gate. On balance, it’s probably clobberin’ time though. Vicente Luque by KO, round 1
Zane Simon: Krantz has some power and likes to swing wide in offensive bursts. But, he’s not a volume striker and can be put on the back foot without too much trouble. Should be perfect for a pressure-counter-fighter like Luque, to back Krantz to the cage, draw out his punches, and nail him with counter shots. Vicente Luque via KO, round 1.
Staff picking Krantz:
Staff picking Luque: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Megan Anderson vs. Felicia Spencer
Mookie Alexander: If Spencer can get the takedown(s) then Anderson is in a world of trouble. But Anderson has a clear advantage on the feet and I don’t think Spencer will be able to get inside and get the fight she wants without taking a lot of damage along the way. I am very much skeptical about how good Megan Anderson actually is, but she is skilled enough to get the W here. Megan Anderson by TKO, round 2.
Phil Mackenzie: This is about as good as fights between featherweights which don’t involve Cyborg get, which is to say... not that good? Spencer poses approximately similar challenges that Cat Zingano did, being a functional and aggressive clinch wrestler. While I can see her bodylocking Anderson and stifling her as Holm was able to, Spencer doesn’t seem to be the athlete that either Holm or Zingano are. Anderson is a fairly dangerous, violent striker. Megan Anderson by TKO, round 2.
Zane Simon: Spencer is good at the one thing that Anderson is bad at, so that’s something. But I’m not convinced she’s so good at it that she can make up for the crazy reach, size, and striking advantage. Spencer tends to wade into range, and can get tagged up a lot doing it. If her opponent is mindful of the outside trip, they can shut down a lot of her takedown game, and from there beat her up. Anderson should be able to do that. But, if she can’t, Spencer will make her absolutely miserable. Megan Anderson via TKO, round 1.
Staff picking Anderson: Mookie, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Spencer: Dayne
Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz
Mookie Alexander: Why though? There’s just nothing compelling about this trilogy. Oliveira illegally kneed him in their first fight and otherwise would’ve won it, actually won the second fight, and is still in the prime of his career with the tools to win a third fight. I doubt Lentz will be able to grind this one out or (famous last words) actually have his guillotine work on Charles. This is Oliveira’s fight to lose. Charles Oliveira by submission, round 2.
Phil Mackenzie: There’s no real reason to assume this goes any different than the last two times. The one caveat is that, as the Mook pointed out, Lentz goes for an absolute ton of guillotines and Oliveira is often so keyed in on being the grappling aggressor that he dives straight into them (Pettis, Lamas etc). Other than that Lentz doesn’t have the offensive firepower to expose Oliveira’s historic frailty, and Oliveira is bigger and more dangerous everywhere. Charles Oliveira by submission, round 2.
Zane Simon: Lentz is a more powerful, but slower and more prone to gassing version of the fighter he once was. Which also seems like a fighter more likely to lose to a more cautious and sniping version of Oliveira. If Oliveira can walk Lentz down, force him to throw wild strikes, or shoot sloppy takedowns, the club-n-sub opportunities are gonna be right there. Charles Oliveira by submission, round 1.
Staff picking Oliveira: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Shak, Zane, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Lentz:
Davi Ramos vs. Austin Hubbard
Mookie Alexander: Hell yeah, give me more Davi Ramos! Don’t know about his whole “I can submit Khabib” thing but he is fun to watch. Davi Ramos by submission, round 1.
Zane Simon: I do honestly wonder if Hubbard’s low-power volume style could trouble Ramos, especially if Hubbard is super wary of getting taken down. But, Hubbard just doesn’t throw with enough bad intention or produce enough meaningful offense for me to take him to essentially walk a tightrope for 3 rounds. Ramos is the finisher, Ramos has the power. If he can hit reactive shots, or just catch Hubbard hard stepping into the pocket, he should do enough to take the win. Davi Ramos via sub, round 2.
Staff picking Ramos: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Shak, Zane, Stephie, Phil
Staff picking Hubbard:
Aspen Ladd vs. Sijara Eubanks
Mookie Alexander: Eubanks may be the better grappler here but Ladd is just an all-around more violent fighter who is more offensively potent. We could see some very intense back-and-forth exchanges on the ground that will make this a very close fight, but I feel like Ladd will have more round-winning moments and her cardio will hold up in a faster-paced bout. Aspen Ladd by unanimous decision.
Phil Mackenzie: This is likely closer than the picks will make it look. Eubanks has been progressing nicely as a composed power striker, but Ladd’s diversity and wrestling edge remains something which I’m not going to pick against until I can see Eubanks win this kind of match. Aspen Ladd by split decision.
Zane Simon: TBH, their first fight was razor thin, and there’s a solid argument that Eubanks could have won it. Neither woman had any major points of meaningful offense that really took over the fight. And when Ladd got on top, Eubanks was able to reverse her. Both women have also improved since then. Eubanks is a cleaner puncher, and Ladd a more dedicated pressure fighter and wrestler. I’m just not convinced that Eubanks’ technical striking gains are actually enough, and I don’t trust her cardio. If Ladd is going to walk her down and just throw volume and shoot takedowns for 15 minutes, I think it’s more likely that she breaks Eubanks down than it is Eubanks finds the shots to push her back or finish her. Aspen Ladd by decision.
Staff picking Ladd: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Eubanks:
Michael Trizano vs. Grant Dawson
Zane Simon: Two prospects that I feel need to show a lot more potential than they have thus far. Dawson is a classic wrestle-boxer who doesn’t really box very well. And in what should have been a dominant win against Julian Erosa, it got him tagged up a ton standing. Trizano is building a reasonably technical striking game, but he just seems so lackadaisical about his offensive production. Notably, he tends to let opponents hang out in clinch and wrestling positions without fighting them off hard. Most people that really work to take him down, tend to have success doing it. He’s a good scrambler once he’s on the mat, but that’s very much fighting back from a point of already losing. Dawson will shoot relentlessly. And when they’re standing, I don’t trust Trizano to put his strikes together often enough to sway scorecards. Grant Dawson by decision.
Staff picking Trizano: Mookie, Nick, Shak, Stephie
Staff picking Dawson: Dayne, Phil, Zane
Desmond Green vs. Charles Jourdain
Phil Mackenzie: Somewhat similar dynamic to Krantz-Luque, where a power brawler is going to try to take out a Blackzilian / Imperial Athletics / whatever they’re called now. I suspect this is a style matchup where Green actually ends up looking pretty good: you need a significant skill or athleticism advantage in at least one area to solve his neutralizing ability, and I reckon that Jourdain’s aggression ends up feeding Green counters. Desmond Green by unanimous decision.
Zane SImon: ‘Air’ Jourdain is a pretty tiny lightweight. Just 5’ 9” and with a 69” reach, I don’t think he’s ever weighed in more than 153. He’s a scrappy, offensive dynamo with great cardio because of it, but he doesn’t tend to carry a ton of power, mostly just overwhelming people with scrappiness and pace. Green should be too good a neutralizer for that. The people that beat Green tend to be big, and strong, and able to impose a physical game on him. Or at worst, the ultra-dynamic Mairbek Taisumov. If Green gets his wrestling game going, Jourdain is not hard to take down. Should be Green’s fight to lose, as long is he doesn’t let Jourdain just out-pace him. Des Green by decision.
Staff picking Green: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Jourdain:
Patrick Cummins vs. Ed Herman
Mookie Alexander: Oh inject this into all my veins. Patrick Cummins by split decision.
Phil Mackenzie: Yeaahhhhhhhhhhhh. This seems to be dictated by what Cummins wants: does he try to win a wonderfully dreadful no-defense kickboxing match as in their respective donnybrooks with Gian Villante? Or does he take advantage of Herman’s glacial response time in order to hit takedowns? I yearn for the former... but suspect the latter. Patrick Cummins by unanimous decision.
Zane SImon: Cummins is still a good takedown artist? Right? He doesn’t hold people down well, but he’s good at taking them down. Herman can trade single power shots with people, but so can Cummins. I’m more or less betting on Cummins being good at his one thing will be enough to win rounds where they’re otherwise both just trading single power hooks and getting tired and wobbly. Patrick Cummins via decision.
Staff picking Cummins: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Herman:
Danny Roberts vs. Michel Pereira
Phil Mackenzie: Sleeper FOTN right here. Danny Roberts doesn’t know how to be in a boring fight, and Pereira is a complete loon who bounces around the cage throwing caution to the wind. Roberts is tough and increasingly well-rounded, and Pereira’s tendency to spectacularly blow his cardio early means that I think Roberts actually has a good chance of finishing him on the floor. Danny Roberts by TKO, round 2.
Zane SImon: There’s a chance that Pereira’s wild funk, size, and power just catch Roberts cold early. It worked for Nordine Taleb, and he’s not near the wild man that Pereira is. Otherwise, Roberts is the more technical striker, the better wrestler, and probably the better grappler too. He’s prone to getting caught planting his feet, and either getting cracked hard or taken down, but there’s not enough consistency anywhere in Pereira’s game to say he can do those things regularly. Danny Roberts via KO, round 1.
Staff picking Roberts: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Pereira:
Zak Cummings vs. Trevin Giles
Zane Simon: It feels like Cummings should be too much of a savvy vet for Giles, especially if Giles crashes the pocket with big strikes, and walks himself into counter takedowns. But, Cummings hasn’t really been fighting like a vet lately. He doesn’t have a consistent range element to his striking game, and recently that’s led to him getting in some poor 50/50 distance exchanges with people that he should either have all the reach on (Prazeres) or just be way more technical than (Smith). Giles is raw, but he has a very fast, hard jab, and can work behind it for multiple rounds, when he remembers to. I think that’ll be enough here. Trevin Giles by decision.
Staff picking Cummings: Mookie, Shak
Staff picking Giles: Dayne, Nick, Phil, Zane, Stephie
Julio Arce vs. Julian Erosa
Phil Mackenzie: Erosa has a problem: he’s reasonably dynamic, but not enough to balance out how defensively suspect he is in every phase. Like many gangly dudes he’s a decent clinch fighter and he keeps a good pace, but Arce should just be able to walk him down and punch him from inside his reach. Julio Arce by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Erosa loves to infight, but has none of the defense that a good infighter needs to survive there. Against regional competition that’s either too small, not powerful enough, or just too technically limited to make him pay for that, he’s a fun, dynamic, high-output striker. Against better competition, he tends to get lit up or out-wrestled. Arce isn’t a big hitter, so that should immediately make Erosa more competitive here, but he’s much more defensively sound, much more technical at range, and has a takedown game he can use when he needs it. Should be enough for the win. Julio Arce by decision.
Staff picking Arce: Mookie, Dayne, Nick, Phil, Shak, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Erosa:
Who wins the UFC Rochester main event?
This poll is closed
RDA by stoppage
Lee by stoppage
RDA by decision
Lee by decision