UFC on FX 8: May 18, 2013 Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil UFC Lightweight Contender Rafael dos Anjos (-170) Profile: A deadly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Rafael dos Anjos (18-6), has taken his training to Singapore’s Evolve MMA after mixed results in the UFC’s Octagon. At one time, he was known as a “one trick pony” with a strong BJJ background, but he has since evolved his game, backed up by his brutal KO of fellow BJJ practitioner George Sotiropoulos at UFC 139. The 28-year-old Brazilian has put together a three-fight winning streak after dropping two of three, with his only two losses in his past nine bouts coming against Clay Guida (submission at UFC 117) and Gleison Tibau (split decision at UFC 139). Dos Anjos’ last two wins have both come via unanimous decision against Anthony Njokuani and Mark Bocek. UFC Lightweight Contender Evan Dunham (+130) Profile: A solid example of MMA’s up and coming “new breed” of fighters, Evan Dunham (14-3) has all-around skills and a diversified move-set that someone twice his age would normally possess. Training out of Extreme Couture with a black belt in BJJ, the 31-year-old Dunham is a difficult puzzle for his opponents to solve at times. He is willing to stand and bang and has won Fight of the Night in the UFC three times in his last six bouts, but his grappling skills and cage control are where he really shines. He was rewarded for those skills by winning Submission of the Night at UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz back in 2010. Dunham is 3-1 in his last four bouts, with the lone loss during that stretch coming against top contender TJ Grant in a unanimous decision loss that won Fight of the Night honors at UFC 152.
Opening UFC on FX 8 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made dos Anjos a slight -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Dunham opened as a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130) at 5Dimes sportsbook. Dos Anjos has won eight straight bouts in his home country of Brazil, but he will be fighting there for the first time in the UFC. Ironically, it was him who replaced an injured Dunham against George Sotiropolous and scored a first-round knockout following his loss to Guida. That started his current run that has seen him win four of five, with a split-decision loss against Tibau keeping him from being unbeaten during that stretch. Meanwhile, Dunham is coming off a split-decision win over Tibau and has enjoyed similar success outside of his recent loss to Grant last September. Both fighters have fantastic ground games, as they have a combined 14 submission wins between them compared to five knockouts and 13 decisions. Dunham has never been submitted though, getting knocked out once and falling short in two decision losses. This should be a very competitive matchup with dos Anjos holding a small edge in a bout that should go the distance and could very well win another Fight of the Night bonus for each lightweight.