For the first time ever, the UFC holds an event in Rochester, New York, this Saturday. The Fight Night card is headlined by a welterweight bout between former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and former interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee. Here’s a look at the main fights and their UFC odds.
UFC Fight Night 152 Odds, Preview & Expert Predictions
- When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
- Where: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY
- Live Stream: ESPN+
Rafael dos Anjos (28-11) vs. Kevin Lee (17-4)
Dos Anjos is a slight -120 favorite for this welterweight fight and Lee at -110. Both of these guys as mentioned above are former lightweights. Many fighters have expressed their interest in fighting at 165 pounds maintaining that it would represent a needed middle ground between the 155-pound lightweight division and the welterweight division, which would be moved up to a 175-pound limit.
For dos Anjos, this will mark the Brazilian’s sixth consecutive fight at welterweight after a lengthy lightweight run that saw him capture a UFC championship at 155 pounds. He is 3-2 at 170 pounds, having dropped back-to-back five-round unanimous decisions to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. The latter bout was for an interim welterweight title.
Through four rounds of action, most saw the dos Anjos-Covington fight even, with both bringing two different approaches to the cage. Covington was the more aggressive one, while dos Anjos was trying to be as methodical as can be by picking and choosing his spots. Covington was the better fighter in Round 5. In total, Covington outlanded dos Anjos 142-130 and scored seven takedowns to RDA’s three.
A key factor in the fight was Covington’s pace. He crowded dos Anjos with forward movement from bell to bell. According to Fightmetric, he threw 355 total strikes and attempted 23 takedowns. Two judges scored it 48-47 and the third scored it 49-46. Following an upset defeat against Al Iaquinta last time out, Lee decided to make the move up to the UFC’s welterweight division. It was a competitive bout, but all three judges had it for Iaquinta: 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47.
After a competitive opening round, Lee took control of the second and third rounds with takedowns and ground control. He took Iaquinta’s back in both rounds and landed some hard hammerfists and elbows to the side of the head. Lee’s effort in those rounds appeared to come back to haunt him in the later ones, however. Lee, who landed 130 total strikes to Iaquinta’s 110, according to Fightmetric, said he thought he won the fight.
Lee is an excellent takedown fighter. In 14 career UFC fights, he has landed 35 takedowns, which is good enough for 10th all-time in lightweight history. The total equates to a 3.10 takedown per 15-minute rate, which is seventh-best among all combined ranked lightweights and welterweights. Dos Anjos is also a skilled takedown artist. As a lightweight, the former champion was landing 2.33 takedowns per 15 minutes. However, since moving up to welterweight that rate has dropped all the way down to 0.96.
Dos Anjos and Lee have one common opponent: Tony Ferguson. Dos Anjos met the former interim lightweight champion in The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 finale years ago. A bruised and bloodied dos Anjos was outclassed by Ferguson who won via unanimous decision. Lee made a good account of himself in his UFC 216 interim lightweight title bout opposite Ferguson. In the third round, Ferguson stopped Lee with a rear-naked choke.
Antonio Carlos Junior (11-2) vs. Ian Heinisch (12-1)
The co-main event Saturday was supposed to be another welterweight bout featuring Neil Magny and Vicente Luque, but Magny pulled out on Tuesday because of a failed drug test. for undisclosed reasons. Luque (15-6-1) has won four straight and is attempting to earn a signature win that would get him closer to a title shot.
He will now face Derrick Krantz (22-10), who is making his UFC debut. Krantz was invited to compete on the Contender Series this summer by UFC President Dana White after knocking out Justin Patterson in the opening frame of the Legacy Fighting Alliance 63 headliner on March 29. Odds are TBA on that fight with the late change.
In this middleweight bout, Junior is a -190 favorite with Heinisch at +160. Winner of the TUF Brazil 3 season as a heavyweight, Junior is riding a five-fight winning streak under the UFC banner, including four rear-naked choke finishes against Tim Boetsch, Jack Marshman, Eric Spicely and Leonardo Guimaraes. Junior has not fought for over a year due to injury that canceled his fight with Elias Theodorou. With his last win a submission over Boetsch, Carlos Jr. currently holds the third most rear-naked choke wins in UFC history with five, and the most of any middleweight.
Heinisch made his UFC debut in November when he defeated TUF Brazil 1 middleweight winner Cezar Ferreira via decision at UFC Buenos Aires. The former interim LFA titleholder signed with the UFC after stopping Justin Sumter at Dana White’s Contender Series last July. Heinisch was originally scheduled to face Tom Breese at UFC Fight Night 147 but Breese pulled out the day of the fight due to a medical issue. Heinisch has very short arms but he is incredibly explosive and closes the distance in a flash.
Expert Picks for UFC Fight Night 152
Lee and Junior both win by unanimous decision.
Rest of the UFC Fight Night 152 Card
- Megan Anderson vs. Felicia Spencer
- Vicente Luque vs. Derrick Krantz
- Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz
- Davi Ramos vs. Austin Hubbard
- Aspen Ladd vs. Sijara Eubanks
- Michael Trizano vs. Grant Dawson
- Desmond Green vs. Charles Jourdain
- Patrick Cummins vs. Ed Herman
- Danny Roberts vs. Michel Pereira
- Zak Cummings vs. Trevin Giles
- Julio Arce vs. Julian Erosa