BCDC Analyst Grant Emrick previews UFC Fight Night Anjos vs. Fiziev

UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Fiziev

July 9, 2022

Emrick’s UFC Fighter Pick Record (145-75) – 66% Correct

Prelim Predictions:

BW: Ronnie Lawrence (8-1) vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov (9-2)

  • Pick: Saidyokub Kakhramonov

LHW: Kennedy Nzechukwu (9-3) vs. Karl Roberson (9-5)

  • Pick: Kennedy Nzechukwu

FW: David Onama (9-1) vs. Garrett Armfield (8-2)

  • Pick: David Onama

MW: Cody Brundage (7-2) vs. Tresean Gore (4-1)

  • Pick: Tresean Gore

WFLY: Antonina Shevchenko (9-4) vs. Cortney Casey (10-9)

  • Pick: Antonina Shevchenko

BW: Aiemann Zahabi (8-2) vs. Ricky Turcios (12-2)

  • Pick: Ricky Turcios

WFLY: Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1) vs. Nina Nunes (10-7)

  • Pick: Cynthia Calvillo

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Main Card Predictions:

LW: Michael Johnson (21-17) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (14-5)

  • Pick: Jamie Mullarkey
  • Quick Reasoning: So, Michael Johnson looked good against crushed can, Alan Patrick, who hadn’t won a fight since 2018. The win over Patrick was Johnson’s first victory since facing Artem Lobov in October 2018, snapping a four fight losing streak in the process. Mullarkey, on the other hand, has won two of his past three, where he recently lost to Jalin Turner by a pretty vicious second round knockout in March of this year. I usually don’t opt for picking fighters with a negative striking differential, but I like his ground game and ability to mix it up by using his larger size and reach compared to Johnson. Mullarkey’s been greatly tested since entering the UFC, which has included a debut with Brad Riddell, Fares Ziam, and the aforementioned fight with Jalin Turner. I don’t think Mullarkey is on his way to being a top prospect, but I believe he and Johnson are on two different career trajectories at this stage. Johnson fights are tough to call because you don’t know what you’re going to get, but I have to side with Mullarkey to pull through with the experience he has gained from high-level opponents thus far. This isn’t a confident pick, but I’m thinking Mullarkey gets the finish here.

HW: Jared Vanderaa (12-8) vs. Chase Sherman (15-10)

  • Pick: Jared Vanderaa
  • Quick Reasoning: This fight could really give Parisian/Baudot a run for its main card money. However, deceivingly so, one of these fighters isn’t as lackluster as the other. We have learned the simple rules in life: death, taxes, and staying the hell away from betting on Chase Sherman. The same can be applied to Vanderaa, but it’s definitely a lot less fun. I picked Aleksei Oleinik to beat Vanderaa a couple of months ago, but wow, I was scared for my life during the first few minutes as he pieced Oleinik up on the feet during the early parts of round one. However, he forgot that he tried taking a fight to the mat against “The Boa Constrictor,” which led to his untimely demise and submission loss. Vanderaa can apply this strategy against Sherman, though, whose ground game is pretty much nonexistent. No knock against Sherman, who could absolutely knock me out into oblivion, but he wouldn’t be in the UFC without having the promotion grant him a multi-fight extension for taking a short-notice fight with Alexandr Romanov. We all know how that ended: no strikes landed and a submission loss via keylock in just over two minutes against one of the up-and-coming heavyweight prospects. This is another fight I’d rather not pick, but instead, I will be a degenerate and continue to fade Sherman – with a little cash involved – as he sets his eyes on a potential BKFC future. The fighters have zero takedowns landed in 17 combined UFC fights, but I expect Vanderaa to change that Saturday as he fights for his professional MMA career. Show me Vanderaa getting a TKO in the second round or a very sloppy UD win. 

BW: Douglas Silva de Andrade (28-4, 1 NC) vs. Said Nurmagomedov (15-2)

  • Pick: Said Nurmagomedov
  • Quick Reasoning: Although he may not have the wrestling capabilities of many Nurmagomedov’s, Said offers a great striking threat and consistent pressure that could push a UFC vet like Silva de Andrade for all three rounds. Other than a resume-defining victory over Chito Vera in 2018, Silva de Andrade has suffered defeats against certified strikers in Lerone Murphy, Petr Yan, and Rob Font. Other than those losses, Douglas has been able to handle his competition with relative ease. But Said offers the better defensive skillset and striking attack than many of the opponents Douglas has faced. Silva de Andrade has the power to deliver serious blows to Nurmagomedov, but I believe Said’s durability and craftiness on the feet should lead him to victory. I’d side with a third round finish or UD victory for Nurmagomedov. 

MW: Caio Borralho (11-1, 1 NC) vs. Armen Petrosyan (7-1)

  • Pick: Caio Borralho 
  • Quick Reasoning: Banger alert! Short and sweet, this is a fantastic matchup. On paper, this fight can go either way, as both guys are extremely likely to enter the top 15 in the next year as the MW division undergoes serious reshuffling. If I had to pick one of these guys to get there first, it’d be Caio Borralho. He’s fast, uber technical, and can attack you on the feet and take you down at will. Petrosyan, on the other hand, has LHW power and fared very well – albeit without controversy – in his victory over Gregory Rodrigues. If Petrosyan can keep the fight standing and refuse the takedown attempts from Borralho, then I’d side with him. If Borralho can push the pace and mix in some takedown and clinch work throughout the fight, this will heavily favor the Brazilian. I have a good feeling the latter will happen, but don’t be shocked if we’re in for a close matchup and potential fight of the night contender. Give me Borralho via decision in a 29-28 battle. 

LW: Rafael dos Anjos (31-13) vs. Rafael Fiziev (11-1)

  • Pick: Rafael dos Anjos
  • Quick Reasoning: People seem to forget how talented RDA is. Not going to lie, I almost picked Moicano to defeat him until I took the time to refresh myself on his lightweight talents and accolades. Other than losses to prime Ferguson, Alvarez, and Khabib, RDA pretty much ran the gauntlet on the division. Yes, this was a long time ago, but fairly dominant victories over Felder and Moicano may have revitalized his lightweight UFC career. One thing I like, and I’m sure many will mention if picking RDA, is his gas tank. We’ve seen Fiziev run into trouble late in rounds, especially during his fight of the night with Bobby Green last August. As long as RDA can stay in the fight and put up enough pressure against Fiziev in the first two rounds, we should see him sweep rounds three through five en route to a UD/SD victory. Don’t get me wrong, I believe Fiziev absolutely belongs in the lightweight top ten, but RDA’s abilities to mix it up on the ground or the feet in a five round main event may be a bad matchup for the up-and-comer. Both fighters are experienced and have been well-tested, but I have to side with the more decorated lightweight with a better energy capacity in RDA. I like dos Anjos by UD or SD, all depending on how close the third round is. 

Emrick’s Combat Sports Betting (-0.162u):

  • Straight Bets:
    • Dawg of the Week (2-0): dos Anjos ML
      • 0.5u to win 0.9u
    • Turcios ML
      • 1.5u to win 0.789u
    • Nzechukwu ML
      • 1u to win 0.952u
    • Vanderaa ML
      • 1u to win 0.555u
  • Parlay Bets:
    • Borralho and Nurmagomedov ML’s
      • 1u to win 1.028u
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