Former Lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev will finally get the chance to throw down in the Octagon this Sunday, as the UFC presents Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Fiziev live from the APEX in Las Vegas.
The Co-Main event sees Caio Borralho take on Russian Armen Petrosyan. Aussie Jamie Mullarkey kicks off the main card, taking veteran Michael Johnson.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Rafael ‘Ataman’ Fiziev
The grizzled veteran is taking on a man hungry for a run at the title; this should be an excellent main event. Both fighters have a familiar opponent in Renato Moicano, which Dos Anjos won via unanimous decision. Moicano did take the fight on short notice and showed the heart of a warrior. Fiziev, on the other hand, beat the Brazilian via a vicious KO in the first round.
If we were to go on that logic, we would all be putting money on Fiziev, but MMA doesn’t work that way. It’s the exact reason we watch it! Fiziev hasn’t lost since his debut fight and looks like a future challenger. A win here will see him a step closer to the title picture.
Any fighter who has won a championship would love nothing more than to be in the title picture again. After a mixed stint at Welterweight, Dos Anjos returned to Lightweight, racking up two wins since returning.
Fiziev has excellent stand-up, as evident by his win over Moicano and Brad Riddell. Dos Anjos is good on the feet, but he will need to take this fight down to the ground and work his ground and pound to be successful. This match should be the fight of the night too.
Betting Odds on Neds: Rafael Fiziev $1.46 Rafael Dos Anjos $2.70.
Caio ‘The Natural’ Borralho vs Armen ‘Superman’ Petrosyan
Both fighters arrived in the UFC via Dana White’s Contender Series. Borralho has racked up three wins in a row, with two coming on the series. Technically, he is 1-0. His last fight was a technical decision win over Gadzhi Omargadzhiev.
After an impressive win on the series, Petrosyan backed it up by defeating Gregory Rodrigues via split decision. He is also technically 1-0. White must see something special in both of these fighters for them to be the co-main event after a combined five fights in the company.
Being a kickboxer, you know precisely where Petrosyan’s strength is. The Armenian racked up 70 wins in the art of eight limbs. He has spent time at Universal Fighters Gym in Dagestan and American Top Team, so his wrestling will be getting better.
Borralho was lucky to win his last fight, beating Omargadzhiev with an illegal strike. Instead of being disqualified, it went to a judge’s decision, with the ‘Natural’ getting the nod.
While Barralho has good stand-up, there is no doubt that Petrosyan’s is better. To win this fight, he will need to take it to the ground as he did in his last fight. He has almost an Alex Pereira-like body, and those long limbs come in handy when grappling.
Petrosyan showed that he does have decent takedown defence, and while Barralho isn’t known for his wrestling, he will have to use that to keep the fight on the feet to win.
Betting Odds on Neds: Caio Borralho $1.44 Armen Petrosyan $2.80.
Douglas Silva De Andrade vs Said Nurmagomedov
These two Bantamweights should put on an exciting fight. Nurmagomedov has lost only one fight out of his last five. He made short work of Cody Stamann, finishing him with a nasty Guillotine choke.
Silva de Andrade was bloodied and battered in the first round against Sergey Morozov in his last fight. But like a true warrior, he came out in the second round to defeat Morozov via Technical submission (rear-naked choke).
On the feet, this should be a cracker. Silva de Andrade showed that he could take punishment and come back and win. Nurmagomedov didn’t get to show off a wide variety of his striking prowess, but that was because he just jumped on Stamann’s mistake.
Dagestan Fighters are on a different level regarding grappling, so Silva de Andrade will need to avoid the ground at all costs. Nurmgomedov may make it another quick night.
Betting Odds on Neds: Said Nurmagomedov $1.24 Douglas Silva de Andrade $4.00
Jared Vanderaa vs Chase ‘The Vanilla Gorilla’ Sherman
This fight is a must-win for Vanderra. He has won only won one of his last five fights. Dana White won’t be afraid to cut him if he doesn’t get the w.
Sherman is in a similar position, not winning a fight since 2020. This is his second stint with the company, and he may not get another chance to fight in the Octagon again.
Vanderaa had some decent moments and did show some ground skills against Aleksei Oleinik, but he made one mistake, and Oleink made him pay.
Alexandr Romanov outclassed Sherman from the opening bell on his way to a submission win. The fight before that was another submission loss to Jake Collier. Sherman tagged with some hard shots Collier, but once it went to the ground, it just went to shit for him.
This fight could be a slobberknocker, as there is nothing like two Heavyweights swinging for the fences. After his last two fights, Sherman will want to avoid the ground at all costs.
To be successful, Vanderaa should avoid brawling and take Sherman down.
Betting Odds on Neds: Jared Vanderaa $1.50 Chase Sherman $2.60
Cynthia Calvillo vs Nina Nunes
A loss here for either woman is not the be-all and end-all; it won’t be good news for either of them. Calvillo has lost three in a row, and Nunes has lost two in a row.
Nunes should take a page out of Andrea Lee’s book and set a relentless pace from the start, and she did that against Loc. Her wife, former champion Amanda Nunes will have her prepared, even though she has her fight to prepare for.
Calvillo should watch Nunes’s last fight against Mackenzie Dern as to how she can end the contest early. Doing that would not be a bad thing; she took a lot of damage in her last fight.
The game plans for both fighters should be simple, but as the great Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
Betting Odds on Neds: Cynthia Calvillo $1.67 Nina Nunes $2.20
Jamie ‘Hooligan’ Mullarkey vs Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson
Aussie fighter Jamie Mullarkey kicks off the main card, taking on veteran Michale Johnson. Johnson is the perfect fight for Mullarkey to get back in the win column. He made a reasonable effort against Jalin Turner but couldn’t overcome the rising Lightweight star.
After a four-fight losing streak, Johnson got a KO win over Brazilian Alan Patrick. It was nice to see; another victory like that will see Missouri native stay in the UFC. A loss here, and we may see him pop up in one of the Bare Knuckle promotions.
Mullarkey will need to watch the southpaw’s left; Johnson has plenty of power in it, as evident in his fight with Patrick.
Mullarkey is no slouch in the power department; He knocked out Khama Worthy in 46 seconds; however, he may not be able to KO Johnson, so he must be prepared to go three rounds.
Betting Odds on Neds: Jamie Mullarkey $1.44 Michael Johnson $2.80.
Enjoy the fights.