While last week’s UFC 246 was exciting with the return to the Octagon of former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor, this week’s UFC Fight Night 166 card in Raleigh features two former champions in top fights. Here’s a look with MMA odds.
UFC Fight Night 166 Odds, Blaydes vs Dos Santos Preview & Prediction
- When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
- Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
- Live Stream: ESPN+
Curtis Blaydes (12-2) vs. Junior Dos Santos (21-6)
- UFC Fight Night 166 Odds: Curtis Blaydes -245 / Junior Dos Santos +205
Blaydes, an American, ranks third in the division and Dos Santos, a Brazilian, fourth. Dos Santos (21-6) was supposed to face Alexander Volkov in November at a UFC Fight Night in Moscow but was forced to withdraw weeks ago due to a severe bacterial infection in his leg.
The Brazilian has five career wins UFC Heavyweight Champions: Fabrício Werdum, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, and Stipe Miocic. Dos Santos faced Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1 for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in November 2011 and beat Velasquez in 64 seconds of the first round via knockout. He dropped Velasquez with an overhand right and finished him off with a series of punches.
Dos Santos defended his title once with a win over Frank Mir but has lost three title fights since, two to Velasquez and one to Miocic. Dos Santos last fought in June 2019 against Francis Ngannou and lost via TKO in the first round to end a three-fight winning streak. Ngannou landed a shot behind the ear that stumbled dos Santos. JDS then turned his back, and Ngannou snuck an uppercut in that dropped Dos Santos. Some ground strikes later, Ngannou had his victory.
Some HistoryBlaydes has never gotten a title shot. He was a very good collegiate wrestler at Harper College, winning the NJCAA National Championship as a redshirt sophomore. The only two losses for Blaydes are to Ngannou and both by TKO. Blaydes last fought in September 2019 and beat Shamil Abdurakhimov via TKO in the second round.
In Round 2, Blaydes was in half-guard, with Abdurakhimov looking to tie him up. However, he risked giving up his back. Blaydes began landing some hard punches, with ref Mark Goddard yelling at Abdurakhimov to “get out of that spot.” He did, but wound up defenseless again a moment later. A Blaydes elbow split him open, smashing his nose, and Goddard ended the fight.
Rafael Dos Anjos (29-12) vs. Michael Chiesa (16-4)
- UFC Fight Night 166 Odds: Rafael Dos Anjos -265 / Michael Chiesa +205
Dos Anjos, from Brazil, is ranked No. 5 in the division and Chiesa isn’t ranked.
Dos Anjos is a jiu-jitsu black belt who holds notable victories over three former UFC champions: Robbie Lawler, Anthony Pettis, and Benson Henderson. Other notable victories include Neil Magny, Tarec Saffiedine, Donald Cerrone (twice) and Nate Diaz.
Dos Anjos faced Pettis for the UFC Lightweight Championship on March 14, 2015 at UFC 185 and won the bout via unanimous decision in a dominant fashion. After the fight, dos Anjos revealed that he had torn his MCL only a few weeks before the bout. In his second title defense, dos Anjos faced Eddie Alvarez on July 7, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 90 and was upset via TKO in the first round.
In his last bout, Dos Anjos lost to Leon Edwards via unanimous decision last July. Edwards took Dos Anjos to the ground in the fourth round and stood strong. It was a high-level fight with both competitors remaining within striking distance of each other and showing off their footwork throughout, but Edwards proved victorious with enough blows and timely defense.
Chiesa made his 170-pound debut in a big way by submitting former interim champion Carlos Condit in the second round in December 2018. Then in July 2019, Chiesa beat Diego Sanchez. He nearly submitted the veteran several times en route to a decision victory. All three judges scored it 30-26.
Expert UFC Fight Night 166 Betting PicksBlaydes by KO/TKO and Dos Anjos by decision.
Rest of the UFC Fight Night 166 Card
- Jordan Espinosa vs. Alex Perez
- Hannah Cifers vs. Angela Hill
- Jamahal Hill vs. Darko Stošić
- Bevon Lewis vs. Dequan Townsend
- Arnold Allen vs. Nik Lentz
- Justine Kish vs. Lucie Pudilová
- Montel Jackson vs. Felipe Colares
- Sara McMann vs. Lina Länsberg
- Brett Johns vs. Tony Gravely
- Herbert Burns vs. Nate Landwehr