The lightweight fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev headlines the UFC on ESPN 39 event, which is taking place on Saturday, July 9 at UFC Apex. In this post, we will analyze the headliner bout, sharing our top betting pick along the way. If this sounds good, let’s start by checking what oddsmakers think is going to happen.
Rafael dos Anjos vs Rafael Fiziev UFC on ESPN 39 Odds
All odds are per FanDuel as of July 4.
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Where and When to Watch
- Date: Saturday, July 9
- Time: ~9:00 PM EDT
- Location: UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada
- Watch: ESPN
The Former Champ Wants to Get Back into the Spotlight
Rafael dos Anjos made his professional MMA debut in 2004. Since then, he’s fought a total of 44 fights, winning 31 of those. The mid-2010s were the heyday of his career as that’s the period when he was in the possession of the UFC Lightweight Championship belt.
Dos Anjos won the title on March 14, 2015, after beating Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision. Nine months later, he defended his title successfully, defeating Donald Cerrone by technical knockout. However, in his second title defense, he wasn’t as successful. In fact, on July 7, 2016, he lost to Eddie Alvarez.
After losing his championship belt, dos Anjos entered a sort of rough patch, losing five of the next 11 fights. Then, in late 2020, he decided to take a break from MMA. His hiatus lasted for a year and a half, with him making his comeback on March 5, 2022.
It was UFC 272 when dos Anjos made his comeback, beating Renato Moicano by decision after five brutal rounds. Four months later, the 37-year-old is fighting again. This time, he’s locking horns with a rising star in the UFC universe – Rafael Fiziev.
Rafael Fiziev Going for Another Impressive Win
Rafael Fiziev is 11-1 in his professional career with a 5-1 record in the UFC. His UFC saga started with a loss to Magomed Mustafaev (by knockout), but he bounced back straight away. In fact, after losing his first UFC bout, he went on to win the next five fights.
Not only did he win those five fights, but he did it in style, winning the Performance of the Night bonus on two occasions. Further, another two of his fights were voted the Fight of the Night.
Knowing all this, it’s no surprise that oddsmakers are giving Fiziev the role of the favorite in Saturday’s clash. Are they right to think so?
Rafael dos Anjos vs Rafael Fiziev Prediction
Even though dos Anjos has experience on his side, Fiziev just looks unstoppable at the moment. The fighter from Kyrgyzstan has been superb in recent times, not to mention that he’s super motivated to win on Saturday. Ranked 10th in the UFC lightweight rankings, a win at UFC on ESPN 39 could pave the way to the top.
Pick: Rafael Fiziev