UFC on Fox 26 tips: Best bets for Lawler v dos Anjos
We make our pick for the welterweight showdown in Winnipeg, plus two other fights from the undercard.
Robbie Lawler v Rafael dos Anjos
In a meeting of two UFC legends, a loss for either fighter would likely spell the end of their chances of ever winning another title.
Lawler has only fought once since losing the welterweight belt in 2016, beating Donald Cerrone on points at UFC 214 in July.
The 35-year-old has clearly lost some speed and power, but he’s still a dangerous knockout artist with 20 stoppages in 28 wins.
Dos Anjos is a tricky opponent for Lawler.
The Brazilian – who lost his lightweight title just a few weeks before Lawler dropped his belt – is unbeaten in his two fights at welterweight, and looked impressive when he submitted Neil Magny in September.
Unlike Lawler, dos Anjos is dangerous both on his feet and on the mat, but the size difference between these fighters could prove to be the 33-year-old’s downfall.
Lawler is one of the biggest welterweights in the UFC, having fought at middleweight earlier in his career, and he should be able to use his size to dominate the centre of the Octagon.
The American isn’t the same finisher that he once was, but his strength should be enough to see him to a points decision victory.
Ricardo Lamas v Josh Emmett
Lamas was supposed to be fighting Jose Aldo at this event, but the Brazilian was instead moved into the main event at UFC 218.
Instead, Lamas takes on Emmett, an exciting but inexperienced 32-year-old who’s only had 13 professional fights, four of which were in the UFC.
Emmett has won 12 of his 13 career bouts, and his sole defeat was a narrow split decision against Desmond Green in April, but this is a clear step up for the Team Alpha Male fighter.
Lamas is the UFC’s No. 3 ranked featherweight, and he’s only lost to Aldo, Chad Mendes and Max Holloway since 2014.
He’ll have his hands full with Emmett, but the 35-year-old is a classy striker with a solid ground game and he should manage to come away with the ninth decision win of his career.
Mike Perry v Santiago Ponzinibbio
This one shouldn’t last long.
Perry and Ponzinibbio are two of the welterweight division’s most dangerous strikers, with a combined total of 25 knockouts in 40 fights.
Perry has only lost once – a decision defeat to Alan Jouban in which he spent most of his time pinned to the mat – and he’s finished all 11 of his wins inside the distance.
Ponzinibbio, meanwhile, in on a five-fight winning streak, and took out Gunnar Nelson in the first round in his last bout.
The Argentine, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is a better all-round fighter than Perry, but if he engages in a brawl he’ll be in real danger of being put to sleep.
Perry’s got scary power, and there’s value in backing him to avoid a night on the mat and land a bomb to take victory.