PREVIEW: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards
Featured Image Credit: Sherdog
This weekend’s card is sneakily a good one. You have a few fun heavyweight fights, some controversy waiting to happen in Greg Hardy, and two GREAT match ups for fringe top-15 guys in the lighter divisions. Then, to cap it all off, you have surging contender Leon Edwards facing off against former 155 champion Rafael dos Anjos.
There was once a time when RDA was the scariest dude, to me, in the UFC. His pace was unrelenting. He was able to push the very best to their brink and then pound on them. He was a physical specimen at 155. Now, at 170 and approaching the twilight of his career, he is still a very dangerous fighter, but now, instead of pushing a breakneck pace, he uses smart pressure and peppers his opponent with strikes. If the fight should go to the ground, he has excellent BJJ. He is not an easy opponent to best, and it took a very similar style from a younger, larger man in Colby Covington and then a smothering from current champion Kamaru Usman. Edwards has a tall task in front of him, but he will be more than game.
Edwards, like his opponent, last lost to current champion Kamaru Usman. Unlike RDA, however, he has not lost in years, rattling off 7 straight wins, all of which coming in the UFC. Along the way, he took out then prospects, such as Albert Tumenov, as well as some current up-and-comers like Vicente Luque. He even bet some veterans of the sport in Gunnar Nelson and Cowboy Cerrone. These names show the range of skill that Edwards has. He is no one trick pony, and at the age of 27, is now in his physical prime. He has shown the ability to bully opponents to make the fight move at his pace, and look for him to do more of the same this weekend.