Rafael Dos Anjos is looking to win his second consecutive fight in his new weight class. The former UFC lightweight king will face veteran welterweight Neil Magny in the main card of UFC 215 on September 9th, 2017 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
New Weight Class
After winning his welterweight debut, Rafael Dos Anjos looks to move up the 170-pound ladder by challenging the promotion’s 6th ranked welterweight in Neil Magny. Dos Anjos moved up in weight after back to back losses to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson. Alvarez made a successful 170-pound debut when he defeated Tarec Saffiedine last June.
Neil Magny saw his three fight winning streak end with a knockout loss to Lorenz Larkin at UFC 202. He rebounded with a solid unanimous decision win over an overweight former champion in Johny Hendricks at UFC 207. With a title shot in his sights, Magny looks to beat another former UFC champion in his second consecutive bout as he faces Dos Anjos in Canada.
The former lightweight champ Dos Anjos is the favorite here at -200 at Bovada, while the American Magny is the underdog at +160. This is a very interesting fight to call, really. Dos Anjos will only be fighting for the second time as a welterweight. And coming from lightweight, Dos Anjos really looks physically handicapped in this matchup.
Not only does Magny have a massive seven inch advantage in height, he also has a huge ten inch reach advantage over Rafael Dos Anjos. Magny has used his length to average 4.04 significant strikes landed per minute at an impressive 50% accuracy. That’s going to be a problem for a pressure fighter like Dos Anjos who likes to push the pace against his opponents.
Bigger Man Wins
We’ve seen Neil Magny struggle against pressure fighters before and such was the case in his most recent loss to Lorenz Larkin. But Magny has been a welterweight ever since and he’s used to facing bigger men with bigger punches. He’s beaten heavy hitters like Johny Hendricks, Kelvin Gastelum and Hector Lombard in the past two years so you know he’s no fluke. Dos Anjos lands plenty of strikes but he isn’t a knockout artist, not even at lightweight.
Dos Anjos is good, but he’s giving up too much in size here. Magny is going to have his hands full defending RDA’s strikes but the bigger man will prevail. We’re picking Neil Magny to pick up another decision win. If he gets on top of Dos Anjos more than once in this fight, he could win by ground and pound stoppage too.