If you are a gambler, or a fantasy mma fan, you may be tempted to put some money down on Rafael dos Anjos. In his last three fights he knocked out Benson Henderson and Jason High, and then he put a one sided beat down on Nate Diaz. He is certainly a top three fighter in the lightweight division, but he doesn’t have what it takes to beat Anthony Pettis. In fact, he wouldn’t even be fighting for the title if Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t injured.

Pettis is only a man, and he can be beaten, but dos Anjos doesn’t have the tools to nullify Pettis’ strengths. Pettis is beginning to have the aura of a top pound for pound fighter. The aura of immortality. Historically, every fighter will lose at some point, but his momentum, coupled with his improvements from fight to fight are affording him this reputation. There is a fight that he has to win to really capture the aura of invinsibility, but it isn’t against dos Anjos. It’s against Nurmagomedov.

While both men have a large percentage of their victories coming via finishes, it can’t be argued that Pettis is more dangerous. In mma you are only as good as your last fight, and a review of their last outings put’s things into perspective.

Pettis’ last bout was a title defense against a very game Gilbert Milendez. If Milendez and dos Anjos were fighting it’s likely that Melendez would be the favorite, and with good reason. Milendez was able to put it on Pettis and laid out a blue print for how to, by and large, nullify him while staying on the feet. Even still, every single strike that Pettis dished out was significant, and it showed. While Milendez was mentally and physically tough, it eventually caused him to make a mistake. Instantly, with out thought, Pettis tied him up in a guillotine and the fight was over.

Rafael dos Anjos on the other hand is coming off a very dominant win over Nate Diaz. From the first round to the final bell dos Anjos beat the breaks off of Diaz. It later came out that Diaz was injured coming into the fight. This does take away from the victory. Even if Diaz wasn’t injured coming into the fight, dos Anjos battered Diaz’s lead leg through out the fight and he was never able to pull the trigger and pour it on. Maybe this was strategic, but being a contender he shouldn’t have been ok with leaving it to the judges. Think about what Pettis would have done if he were fighting Diaz. If the conclusion you come to isn’t a finish, you may be delusional.

Taking all that into account, it’s difficult to imagine Pettis doing anything other than putting on a show and getting a finish. dos Anjos is elite though and crazier things have happened in the past. He has knock out power and submission skills to so their really isn’t a safe place for either man to fight. Pettis has the upper hand on the feet and has a very underrated ground game. You don’t want to miss this.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.