UFC 237 was last Saturday in Brazil and the card was stacked with Brazilian fighters. One wonders if former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos took offense to being left off that card in his native land.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Dos Anjos, who is from Rio, instead headlines this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event from Rochester, New York, the UFC’s first-ever trip to that city. Dos Anjos is a -120 favorite for a welterweight non-title fight against Kevin Lee (-110).
Lee (17-4), a 26-year-old from Michigan, had spent his entire career at lightweight. “The Motown Phenom” got an interim title shot against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 but lost by third-round submission (triangle choke). It was Lee’s first loss by submission. He bounced back with a TKO victory over Edson Barboza but enters off a December 2018 unanimous decision loss to Al Iaquinta. Lee is ranked as the No. 7 lightweight but is obviously not yet ranked as a welterweight. The slight majority of his wins (47 percent) are by submission.
Dos Anjos (28-11) won the lightweight title back in 2015 by beating Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 by unanimous decision. Dos Anjos defended it with a first-round knockout of Donald Cerrone in December that year but lost the belt in July 2016 to Eddie Alvarez by first-round TKO. After losing his next fight as well to Ferguson, dos Anjos moved to welterweight. He got a title shot there at UFC 225 last June but was a unanimous decision loser to Colby Covington.
Dos Anjos was last in the Octagon in November, dropping another unanimous decision to current welterweight king Kamaru Usman in the “Ultimate Fighter 28” finale. More often than not, dos Anjos’ fights go to the judges with 14 of his wins and eight of his losses via decision. Dos Anjos is ranked third in the division.
The co-main event was to feature another welterweight bout between 13th-ranked Neil Magny (21-7), who was a +300 underdog against No. 15 Vicente Luque (15-6-1). However, Magny withdrew this week over an alleged failed drug test and has been replaced by veteran but UFC newbie Derrick Krantz (22-10) on very short notice.
Krantz takes a step up in competition in his UFC debut. Krantz had been invited to compete on the Contender Series this summer by UFC president Dana White. Luque, a Brazilian, has won four in a row against so-so competition since a loss to Leon Edwards in March 2017. None of Luque’s past eight wins went to the judges.