On Saturday, December 13, 2014 the UFC heads to the US Airways Center in Phoenix for UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic.

UFC on Fox 13 is the UFC’s second to last event of 2014 and they have put together a free fight card that should make fans salivate. The bout that every fan should be really excited to see is the co-main event between lightweights Rafael dos Anjos and Nate Diaz.

It has been more than a year since Diaz last competed inside the Octagon due to a contract dispute but he should not be taken lightly as he is still one of the best lightweight fighters in the world. But while Diaz has been away from the cage, dos Anjos has established himself as a true contender in the lightweight division and a win over Diaz would propel him even closer to a title shot.

Diaz is a skilled opponent with superb boxing and an elite ground game but dos Anjos has the tools to get the win.

Don’t Box With Diaz

Dos Anjos’ striking game has improved by leaps and bounds since he began working with the team at Evolve MMA and it has really shown in his last two knockout wins over Jason High and Benson Henderson, but he can’t allow himself to get into a boxing match with Diaz. Diaz is one of the best technical boxers in all of MMA and his punching accuracy is his best weapon. Dos Anjos can’t stand in the pocket and trade shots with Diaz because Diaz will win that battle every time.

Instead, dos Anjos needs to pick his spots. As the more dynamic and explosive fighter of the two, he doesn’t need to stand in the pocket to be effective, he can get in and get out and do major damage. Diaz will try to draw dos Anjos in by talking and taunting but dos Anjos just needs to keep his cool and stick to the plan.

Apply Constant Pressure

Diaz is a tough fighter and his cardio is tremendous, but he has always struggled with fighters who put constant pressure on him. He’s been bothered by fighters that stay in his face and push him against the cage. Dos Anjos will be the stronger fighter Saturday night and he needs to use that strength to pressure Diaz against the cage.

While this key may seem a little counterintuitive to the “get in, get out” point mentioned above it’s really not. Dos Anjos has to avoid the pocket, so he needs to maintain distance with his kicks then attack with power and pressure Diaz against the cage to finish the exchange. The big key of the night will be avoiding boxing range.

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.