UFC Fight Night 49 Opening Odds Breakdown: Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos Date: August 23, 2014 Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Venue: BOK Center Broadcast: FS1 UFC Lightweight Benson Henderson -300 The former WEC lightweight champion and the man to dethrone Frankie Edgar from his 155-pound UFC title, Benson “Smooth” Henderson (21-3) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped by his former WEC foe, Anthony Pettis, at UFC 164. That loss saw Henderson lose his undisputed lightweight title to his arch nemesis, but he’s bounced back since then with wins over Josh Thomson and Rustam Khabilov to emerge as a contender once again. For the most part, Henderson has done nothing but impress in his seven-year MMA career. He has a complete fighting game, from a devastating wrestling base to a submission game that makes anyone think twice (nine submission wins, including a standing guillotine to fear) along with solid stand-up and ring intelligence that is off the charts. The 30-year-old Henderson is set to be in the mix at lightweight for a very long time. He has dominating wins of Nate Diaz, Jim Miller and Clay Guida, as well as close wins over Edgar (twice) and Gilbert Melendez, plus the aforementioned Thomson and Khabilov. Henderson has simply beat a who’s who of the lightweight division — that is, everyone but the champ Pettis. But with a win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 49, he would get one step closer to a rematch with the title holder. UFC Lightweight Rafael dos Anjos (+220) One of the top lightweight fighters in the world, Rafael dos Anjos (21-7) has had a great career in the UFC, going 10-5 overall with wins over the likes of Donald Cerrone and Evan Dunham to stake his place in the top 10 at 155lbs. The 29-year-old Brazilian has great BJJ, improved striking, and fantastic takedown defence, and has emerged as a real threat for the belt. His only recent loss came to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it was a bad matchup for RDA and it didn’t set him that far back in the divisional ranks. He bounced back from the loss to Nurmagomedov with a KO win over Jason High, and the UFC felt fit to give him a main event opportunity against Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night 49 in the biggest fight to his career to date. Opening UFC Fight Night 49 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Henderson a -300 favorite (bet $300 to win $100) while dos Anjos opened as a +220 underdog (bet $100 to win $220) at Several Bookmakers. Henderson recently dominated Rustam Khabilov and also has a recent decision win over Josh Thomson, while dos Anjos defeated Jason High to retain his spot in the top 10. This is an excellent lightweight bout between two great fighters and it should be a fun one when it goes down. Since it’s five rounds, Henderson will definitely have the cardio advantage as dos Anjos has never been the full 25 before, but stylistically he could cause some problems for Henderson as he has excellent takedown defence and striking. This should be a great fight when it goes down but Henderson deserves to be the favorite based on past accomplishments and that’s why the line opened up the way that it did.

Written by Adam Martin.

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