August 23rd will be a busy day for die hard MMA fans as the UFC will be hosting their third event doubleheader of 2014. UFC Fight Night 49 will be the second offering for fight fans and it features a lightweight battle between Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos that has title implications.

Henderson is coming into this bout in a weird situation; he has established himself as the consensus #2 lightweight in the world but both times he has faced Anthony Pettis he has lost. As long as he keeps winning he is going to be in the title picture, but he needs to start racking up statement wins if he wants to get another title shot anytime soon.

Dos Anjos is coming off of an impressive victory over long time MMA veteran Jason High and he is looking to get another winning streak rolling. At one point dos Anjos had won five consecutive fights in the UFC before running into the buzz saw that is Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Striking

This is a really tough one to call because dos Anjos has a very strong Muay Thai base and Henderson is a skilled Tae Kwon Do practitioner with solid technical ability. Neither guy has one punch knockout power, but both get the job done on the feet. Where Henderson has the edge is footwork and versatility; Henderson is able to effectively employ many different techniques into his striking game.

Advantage – Henderson

Wrestling

Wrestling could prove to be the deciding factor in this bout as it is the biggest weakness in dos Anjos’ game. Wrestlers with heavy top games have been able to neutralize and control dos Anjos and that very evident in his loss to Nurmagomedov. Henderson has a top notch wrestling background and his skill set has transitioned nicely into MMA.

Advantage – Henderson

Submissions

Henderson and dos Anjos are both BJJ black belts with solid ground games, but not all black belts are created equal. Henderson is a sneaky good grappler and his submission game is bolstered by his ability to control opponents with his wrestling. Having won a bronze medal in the brown belt division at the IBJJF World Championships, Henderson has the better grappling resume.

Advantage – Henderson

Cardio

Both Henderson and dos Anjos have been to a lot of decisions so both have strong cardio, but dos Anjos has never been in a five round fight. Henderson has been in the championship rounds against some of the best fighters in the world.

Advantage – Henderson

Prediction

Dos Anjos is a tough fighter and he is at the top of his game right now but Henderson is just a bad matchup for him. No matter where this fight takes place Henderson will be better. Henderson won’t get the finish but he will control the action and he will leave no doubt who the better fighter is.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.