The UFC sets up shop in Mexico City, Mexico for a quietly loaded card on November 5. Highlighting the event will be former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos taking on top contender Tony Ferguson.
The main card will also see the first UFC bouts for highly touted fighters Marcin Held and Alexa Grasso. Both Held and Grasso are under the age of 25 and could become the face of their respective weight classes in the future.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Tony Ferguson
Dos Anjos is a pressure fighter who excels when he dictates the pace of the bout. His ability to cut off the cage his fantastic thanks to his work with Rafael Cordeiro. In the striking game, he aims to push his opponent’s back to the Octagon so he can properly utilize his exceptional grappling or throw unrelenting combinations.
That’s not to say his striking is strictly complimentary, as he has the ability to knock out opponents. RDA has power in his hands, but possibly his most lethal strike is his left kick. When in the southpaw stance, Dos Anjos will rip a left kick to the midsection that has doubled over several opponents – most notably in his second fight with Donald Cerrone.
Dos Anjos is adept at taking the fight to the mat, especially when he can back his opponent against the cage and he can secure a double leg. Once there, RDA is a slick submission artist who has held a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for years. Again, once the fight goes to the ground, Dos Anjos is all about constant pressure.
There are plenty of similarities in Dos Anjos and Ferguson’s style, with both men loving to push forward. Ferguson has a great reach advantage that he can utilize until he finds the right opportunity to move forward on the feet. Though powerful and overwhelming, ‘El Cucuy’ has a tendency to get into slugfests and will take a hit to give a hit. Normally, this has worked in his favor, but the Lando Vanatta fight was an example at how it can bite him.
Ferguson was a high school and collegiate wrestler who has the ability to generally dictate where the fight takes place. Once the fight hits the mat, Ferguson uses his long arms to work some slick submission skills. He is now famous for his use of the d’arce choke, a maneuver that is extremely hard to pull off in the cage.
This fight has the potential to be fight of the year. Both Dos Anjos and Ferguson are extremely aggressive and can compete in every facet of the game. If Ferguson can keep composed on his feet and not get sucked into a slugfest this may be his bout. However, RDA will want to work in tight quarters, which could cause Ferguson to throw caution to the wind.
Rest Of The Main Card
Marcin Held (-275) makes his long awaited UFC debut against veteran Diego Sanchez (+215) in the co-main event. Held began professionally fighting when he was just 18 years old and at 24 he already has 26 pro fights to his name. The Polish-born fighter is an excellent submission fighter with 12 victories via sub. Sanchez still pushes forward at this point of his career with his strong chin keeping him in fights. If he gets top control, he still has vicious ground and pound.
Both Ricardo Lamas (-110) and Charles Oliveira (-120) are looking to remain relevant atop the featherweight division. Lamas – who is 1-2 in his past three fights – is a grinder. “The Bully” likes to utilize his collegiate wrestling ability to control his opponents on the ground but has started to utilize his striking game to initiate takedowns more effectively. Oliveira is an incredibly talented submission fighter with 13 career wins via sub. He is one of the best submission grapplers in the division, but his Muay Thai-based striking attack still shows holes.
Martin Bravo (-115) and Claudio Puelles (-115) meet in the TUF: Latin America 3 lightweight finals. Bravo went to the judges’ scorecards twice in the house, but has earned stoppage victories in eight of his 10 pro fights. Puelles is just 20 years old and has the ability to stop most fights with two Kos and four subs as a pro.
Rashid Magomedov (-150) sees a big step up in competition when he faces Beneil Dariush (+120). Magomedov is riding a 12-fight win streak thanks to his technical striking skills. ‘Highlander’ is a master of sport in boxing, hand-to-hand combat and combat sambo, but does lack some power. Magomedov has only three knockout victories during his current streak, with the rest coming via decision. Dariush has always been a dangerous submission fighter, but he has made strides in his wrestling and striking thanks to his time at Kings MMA. Dariush looked extra motivated in his last outing after suffering his first career submission loss against Michael Chiesa.
Alexa Grasso (-500) makes her UFC debut as she puts her perfect MMA record on the line against Heather Jo Clark (+350). Grasso has amazing hands with her boxing acumen making her one of the best prospects in the world. She throws quick combinations and then quickly moves out of the pocket to set up another flurry. Clark is solid in all aspects of the game, but multiple injuries have hampered her fighting style. ‘Hurricane’ is slow moving and has little striking defense.
UFC TUF: Latin America 3 Finale: Dos Anjos vs Ferguson
Odds as of November 2 at Bovada
- Rafael Dos Anjos -155
- Tony Ferguson +125
- Diego Sanchez +215
- Marcin Held -275
- Ricardo Lamas -110
- Charles Oliveira -120
- Martin Bravo -115
- Claudio Puelles -115
- Beneil Dariush +120
- Rashid Magomedov -150
- Alexa Grasso -500
- Heather Jo Clark +350
- Erik Perez -190
- Felipe Arantes +155
- Erick Montano +130
- Max Griffin -160
- Henry Briones +135
- Douglas Silva de Andrade -165
- Sam Alvey -230
- Alex Nicholson +180
- Marco Polo Reyes -175
- Jason Novelli +145
- Enrique Barzola -550
- Chris Avila +375
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