UFC Vegas 58 preview: ‘Dos Anjos vs Fiziev’ predictions

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is just one day away from its next mixed martial arts (MMA) event UFC Vegas 58: “Dos Anjos vs Fiziev”, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow night (Saturday July 9, 2022) from inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the name suggests, UFC Vegas 58 is topped with a lightweight main event between former champion Rafael dos Anjos and rising contender Rafael Fiziev, a five-round headliner with serious implications for the title for the end of 2022 and beyond.

Before diving into the main and co-main events, which include the middleweight collision between Caio Borralho and Armen Petrosyan, check out Patrick Stumberg’s breakdowns for the UFC Vegas 58 preliminary card – which he wrote with the fingers that weren’t bitten during a bizarre training accident with Joey Chestnut — by clicking here and here. Additionally, veteran MMA analyst Dan Hiergesell did most of the heavy lifting for the rest of the UFC Vegas 58 main card here.

For the latest “Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev” odds and betting lines courtesy of our tax friends at Draft Kings, go here.

Let’s get to work.

155 pounds: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev

Raphael dos Anjos

Registration: 31-13 | Age: 37 | bet line: +180
Won: 5 KO/TKO, 10 SUB, DEC 16 | Losses: 3 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 10 DEC
Height: 5’8“ | Reach: 70” | Position: left-handed
High strokes per minute: 3.62 | Striking precision: 46%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 3.24 | striking defense: 61%
Withdrawal Average: 1.99 (37% accuracy) | Defense against withdrawal: 58%
Current ranking: No. 7 | Last Stand: unanimous victory over Renato Carneiro

Rafael ‘Ataman’ Fiziev

Registration: 11-1 | Age: 29 | bet line: -210
Won: 7 KO/TKO, 1 SUB, DEC 3 | Losses: 1 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 0 DEC
Height: 5’8“ | Reach: 71” | Position: To change
High strokes per minute: 5.35 | Striking precision: 52%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 5.57 | striking defense: 50%
Withdrawal Average: 0.48 (50% accuracy) | Defense against withdrawal: 95%
Current ranking: No. 10 | Last Stand: Knockout victory against Brad Riddell

Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev will finally connect them after two previous bookings – and two previous cancellations. The pair were originally scheduled to throw hands at UFC Vegas 48 but ‘Ataman’ had visa issues so the promotion moved them to UFC 272. This never happened due to COVID- 19 but the matchmakers wanted to preserve this important 155-pound showdown, so here we are one day away from their contest finally coming to fruition. Luckily for Dos Anjos, fellow Brazilian Renato Carneiro was able to step in at UFC 272 and “RDA” showed no signs of cage rust after nearly two years of inactivity. How much you put into that lopsided win may depend on how you view Carneiro — a former featherweight — as a viable contender at 155 pounds. He’s a bold fighter, no doubt, but he’s also unranked and was knocked out by Fiziev at UFC 256.

Either way, Carneiro’s win marked the second straight ‘W’ for Dos Anjos since dropping out of the welterweight division. It was the right call, even with the brutal weight cut ahead of us, as “RDA” has been knocked down 34 times in his last five fights at 170 pounds, resulting in a 1-4 record. I don’t want to diminish what the Brazilian has done in a very impressive career at lightweight, but he turns 38 in October and is already experiencing double-digit losses. He’s also made a decision in eight of his last 10 fights and only seems to get a finish when presented on a silver platter. His last knockout was against Donald Cerrone at the end of 2015, so I’m not sure we can prove that Dos Anjos stopped a multiple Muay Thai champion this weekend at ‘Sin City’.

I know haters like to point to Fiziev’s UFC St. Petersburg loss to Magomed Mustafaev as proof that ‘Ataman’ isn’t the fearsome kickboxer he’s made out to be, which is silly because some of the attackers MMA’s most dangerous have been stopped at one point or another. Jiri Prochazka getting KTFO by “King Mo” under the RIZIN banner comes to mind, just as Stephen Thompson gets icy at “Showtime” Pettis. These are the dice you roll when playing the game standing up, and it’s one of the many reasons the sport is so unpredictable (and exciting). That said, if your big argument for Dos Anjos’ victory is Mustafaev’s defeat; brother, you’re going to have five long rounds. A more likely scenario is Dos Anjos, who is an effective offensive grappler against non-wrestlers (he dragged Anthony Pettis to the ground nine times in their 2015 affair), will look to implement his ground game by reducing distance and while diving for the legs. .

This may turn out to be a fool’s ride. In six fights for the UFC, opponents are 1-22 in takedown attempts against the Kyrgyz bruiser. Dos Anjos is a good offensive wrestler, but it’s not like he’s an All American Division-1 or some kind of Greco-Roman phenom with a wall full of medals. He also lacks one-punch knockout power, which rules out the lightning finish. To his credit, the Brazilian is an established veteran who is good in some areas and excellent in others. I just don’t know if “RDA” will be able to cause enough damage or take the fight to the ground against an opponent superior to the feet and, more importantly, more than eight years his junior. I’m not expecting a blast, but I do expect Fiziev to sweep the judges’ scorecards after controlling the pace for most of their 25 minutes.

Prediction: Fiziev beats. Dos Anjos by unanimous decision

185 pounds: Caio Borralho vs. Armen Petrosyan

Caio ‘The Natural’ Borralho

Registration: 11-1, 1 NC | Age: 29 | bet line: -205
Won: 4 KO/TKO, 3 SUB, 4 DEC | Losses: 0 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 1 DEC
Height: 5’10“ | Reach: 75” | Position: left-handed
High strikes per minute: 3.66 | Striking precision: 64%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 1.70 | striking defense: 65%
Withdrawal Average: 1.96 (80% accuracy) | Defense against withdrawal: 75%
Current ranking: Uncategorized | Last Stand: Victory of the technical decision over Gadzhi Omargadzhiev

Armen ‘Superman’ Petrossian

Registration: 7-1 | Age: 31 | bet line: +175
Won: 6 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 1 DEC | Losses: 1 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 0 DEC
Height: 6’3“ | Reach: 71” | Position: Orthodox
High strokes per minute: 7.55 | Striking precision: 55%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 3.39 | striking defense: 54%
Withdrawal Average: 0.00 (accuracy 0%) | Defense against withdrawal: 37%
Current ranking: Uncategorized | Last Stand: victory by split decision over Gregory Rodrigues

Caio Borralho has started calling himself ‘The Natural’ because it’s 2022 and branding is more important than ever, although a nickname like that suggests the Brazilian is inherently talented and he will discover and refine the rest along the way. I know he’s wreaked havoc on the international circuit, I’m just not sure if I’m ready to start handing out gold plaques and 1st place ribbons for submission wins over cans of tomatoes. 40-something like Luiz Carlos Alves, who won’t collect all the Hall of Fame ballots for his 4-17 record. In fact, of his first 10 opponents, only three of them held a winning record at the time of their contest. Not exactly the stuff of legend and Borralho also needed two fights in Dana White’s “Contender Series” to earn his place in the promotion. In his Octagon debut, “The Natural” battled to a technical decision victory over fellow “Contender Series” graduate Gadzhi Omargadzhiev. Guess the bookmakers were more impressed than me, handing out a -200 favorite line for the 29-year-old Brazilian.

Or maybe they just weren’t impressed with anything from Armen Petrosyan (not to be confused with Giorgio’s brother of the same name), who, like his fight night nemesis, has a nickname that comes with certain expectations. If the 31-year-old striker wants to be called a ‘Superman’, he has to show super performances. I’m not sure a split decision victory over Gregory Rodrigues fits the bill, but you can argue he’s done enough in Muay Thai – at the pace of multiple world titles – to have earned his place among the elite combat sports. In many ways, this co-main event mirrors the welterweight headliner in that a striking phenom will have to prove his stand-up skills will carry over into the cage (and can do enough damage) against a more complete fighter. Again, we don’t have a lot of data to work from and Petrosyan’s foreign competition isn’t much better than what Borralho has faced. I think this fight is going to tell us a lot about the future of both fighters and when the going gets tough, I lean towards Petrosyan through busier hands.

Prediction: Petrosyan beats. Borralho by unanimous decision

Remember, the rest of the UFC Vegas 58 main card predictions are RIGHT HERE.

MMAmania.com will provide live, round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 58 fight card HEREstarting with ESPN/ESPN+ preliminary card fights at 6 p.m. ET, followed by ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.

For the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 58 news and notes, be sure to check out our full event archive here and here. For the updated and finalized “Dos Anjos vs Fiziev” fight card and ESPN/ESPN+ lineup, click here.

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