UFC Fight Night 98: Bet on Tony Ferguson to continue winning streak with win over Rafael dos AnjosPublished November 3, 2016
MMA fight fans have been action starved over the last month, but the UFC’s four week break from live events comes to an end on Saturday when UFC Fight Night 98 takes place in Mexico City with the main events being shown live and free on Fox Sports 1 and BT Sport.
The feature bout is an intriguing lightweight (155lb) clash between former champion Rafael Dos Anjos and Tony Ferguson, who comes into the fight on the cusp of a nine-fight winning streak.
This crucial lightweight title shot eliminator in the division sees the winner putting themselves in the firing line of Eddie Alvarez or Conor McGregor pending the UFC 205 main event. Former champion and number 3 ranked Rafael dos Anjos looks to rebound from his title-fight loss to Eddie Alvarez earlier this year against 4th ranked Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson is 11-1 in the UFC, with his only loss coming at the hands of Michael Johnson back in 2012. Four of his last five fights have ended via submission victory for the 32-year old, but Rafael Dos Anjos is a black belt on the ground and this is a fight that will stay standing for the most part.
Dos Anjos stopped Donald Cerrone in just 66 seconds two starts back, but “Cowboy” was having a hard weight cut and his head wasn’t in it. Eddie Alvarez’s power overwhelmed Dos Anjos back in July, but he is gunning to make an immediate return to the number 1 contender spot and a win over Tony Ferguson, particularly a devastating one, puts him right back in line.
This is a fascinating stylistic match-up, but ultimately it may come down who connects first to get the fight to the ground, where either fighter could dominate and finish the other from there. The hunch is that Rafael Dos Anjos could succumb to strikes once again with a relatively short turnaround since a devastating TKO loss.
Ferguson is hungry, determined and possesses the ability to compete at the highest level; this is just the rise in class his history deserves. His striking is excellent and with him sharpening his BJJ tools with Eddie Bravo in camp, Ferguson has what it takes to further compound the 2016 demise of Dos Anjos.