The UFC Fight Night card sometimes lack strong competitors as they are just a reason for the UFC to have programming on certain weekends. However, this Saturday’s UFC on Fox 26 card from Winnipeg is a quality event, headlined by a matchup between welterweight contenders Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos. Here’s a look at the main card events and their UFC odds.
UFC on Fox 26 Main Card Betting Preview
When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
Where: Bell MTS Centre, Winnipeg
Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (27-9)
UFC on Fox 26 Betting Pick: Pick’em
This is currently a pick’em with an over/under of 2.5 rounds, with the over a slight favorite. Lawler is ranked as the No. 2 welterweight by the UFC and dos Anjos at No. 4. Lawler is a former welterweight champion. He surrendered his title to current champ Tyron Woodley in June 2016 but has since rebounded with a decision win over Donald Cerrone in July. The 35-year-old Lawler defended his title twice before losing to Woodley in fight of the year candidates against Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit. In fact, in a poll of UFC fans on ESPN.com earlier this year Lawler’s epic welterweight title defense against MacDonald at UFC 189 on July 11, 2015, was voted the best UFC fight ever.
MacDonald gave Lawler all he could handle in the five-round fight, but eventually succumbed to a straight left hand. The punch didn’t knock down MacDonald, but it appeared to injure him in some way. After a short delay, MacDonald crumpled backward, prompting referee John McCarthy to step in. It was an action-packed fight and at various stages is looked as if MacDonald would win. Lawler was down 39-37 on all three judges’ scorecards going into the fifth round.
Dos Anjos is a former lightweight champion. The Brazilian elected to move up in weight last year after back-to-back losses to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson. Since moving up, dos Anjos is 2-0, including a one-sided submission victory over Neil Magny at UFC 215.
Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1)
UFC on Fox 26 Betting Pick: Ricardo Lamas -275
Lamas is the No. 3 ranked featherweight and a -275 favorite with Emmett at +225. Lamas originally was supposed to fight Jose Aldo, a featherweight legend, but those plans changed shortly after Frankie Edgar was forced to withdraw from his featherweight title fight vs. champ Max Holloway at UFC 218. The UFC turned to Aldo as a replacement, and he lost again to Holloway.
Lamas has gone 5-2 since his 2014 loss to Aldo at UFC 169. Lamas’ losses came to two-time title challenger Chad Mendes and Holloway, the latter coming at UFC 199 in June 2016. But since the Holloway loss, Lamas has back-to-back stoppage wins. He submitted Charles Oliveira over a year ago, and in July he stopped Jason Knight with a first-round TKO at UFC 214. Emmett enters off a dominant unanimous-decision win over Felipe Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118.
Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1)
UFC on Fox 26 Betting Pick: Santiago Ponzinibbio -195
Ponzinibbio is the 10th spot welterweight and a -195 favorite with Perry at +165. Both guys are very talented on the mat with Ponzinibbio boasting a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but they generally have minimal interest in grappling, relying instead on their thunderous striking power to win. Expect an early finish to the fight as both look for the knockout. Ponzinibbio has 14 wins by KO and Perry 11.
Ponzinibbio, who has won five in a row and seven of his last eight, didn’t have Perry in mind as a potential opponent. In fact, he says he never watched even one of “Platinum’s” five UFC bouts. Perry is coming off back-to-back knockouts over Jake Ellenberger and Alex Reyes, who stepped up on short notice to replace Ponzinibbio’s teammate Thiago Alves in Pittsburgh in September. Perry has quickly ascended the UFC’s 170-pound ladder with four crushing knockout victories, including a Performance of the Night finish over veteran Jake Ellenberger.
Glover Teixiera vs. Misha Cirkunov
UFC on Fox 26 Betting Pick: Misha Cirjunov -165
Teixiera is the third-ranked light heavyweight and Cirkunov No. 7. The Latvian is a -165 favorite with the Brazilian at +140. This bout was originally scheduled UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but was moved for no apparent reason.
Teixeira, a former 205-pound title challenger, is coming off a fifth-round knockout loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 109 on May 28. The 37-year-old Brazilian owns notable wins over Rashad Evans, Ryan Bader, Quinton Jackson and Ovince St. Preux in the Octagon but is 1-2 in his past three fights. Cirkunov had an eight-bout winning streak snapped at UFC Fight Night 109 when he was knocked out 28 seconds into his encounter with Volkan Oezdemir. A short right hand from Oezdemir as he circled off the fence caught the charging Cirkunov just behind the ear and dropped him on his face, setting up a TKO finish via a violent change of fortunes.
Expert Predictions for UFC on Fox 26
Go with Lawler under distance, Lamas, Ponzinibbio and Cirkunov.