Paul Felder vs. Rafael dos Anjos Odds
|Felder odds||+165 [BET NOW]|
|Dos Anjos odds||-200 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||4.5 (-182/+150) [BET NOW]|
|Venue||UFC Apex, Las Vegas|
|Time||Approx. 9:30 p.m. ET|
Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos will make his return to the 155-pound weight division to face No. 7-ranked lightweight Paul Felder, who took the fight on just five days notice.
Felder lost a close split decision in February to Dan Hooker and seemed to have settled into his role in the broadcast booth for the UFC, but decided against retirement when Islam Makhachev, dos Anjos’ original opponent, withdrew due to an injury. dos Anjos has lost four of his past five fights, including decision loss to Michael Chiesa in January.
So which fighter has the edge in this matchup? We break down the matchup and odds below:
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||12:57||13:54|
|Weight (pounds)||155 lbs.||155 lbs.|
|Date of birth||4/25/84||10/26/84|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.67||3.47|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.40||3.18|
|Take Down Avg||0.25||1.82|
Felder holds a 3-inch height advantage on RDA, but outside of that these two are relatively even in terms of metrics. The striking accuracy numbers are nearly identical (43% to 45%), as well as the striking differential numbers — 0.27 for Felder compared to 0.29 for dos Anjos.
From a style standpoint, Felder is much more of a striker and can put out a ton of volume especially in a five-round fight. RDA’s advantage would be to use takedowns, where he’s clearly more effective and crafty than his opponent.
Felder vs. dos Anjos Pick
Felder jumping out of the booth and into the octagon on just five days notice is risky, but admirable. The Irish Dragon had been training for a triathlon, which isn’t exactly the same as training for a fight. However, not getting beat up for a six-week camp has its advantages as well.
At 36, Felder is a pro and his proximity to the action as a broadcaster should keep his mind fresh even if the odds are stacked against him. Late replacement fighters typically win at a rate of 38%, which is roughly what Felder’s implied odds equate to against dos Anjos (37.24%).
As noted above, RDA is moving back down to lightweight after going 4-4 in the welterweight division. To be fair, three of those losses came against the very top of the division — champion Kamaru Usman, No. 1-ranked Colby Covington and No. 3-ranked Leon Edwards — and all three went to the cards.
The short notice could have just as much impact on dos Anjos’ strategy as it has on Felder’s stamina. RDA was anticipating fighting a wrestler, but will get a striker instead.
While dos Anjos’ only win in the past two years has come by way of submission, his fights have typically gone to the scorecards. Felder hasn’t finished an opponent or been finished by an opponent since his KO win against Charles Oliveira in 2017.
I think the value here is on the betting this fight to go the distance. Sean Zerillo’s UFC Model projects this fight to got the distance 66% of the time and the distance prop at BetMGM (-162) converts to 61.8% implied odds.
Both of these men are seasoned veterans and I anticipate neither will fall into any traps that could lead to an early night.
Pick: Fight Goes the Distance (-162)