UFC Fight Night | Felder vs. Dos Anjos Fight Picks

PHOTO: The Mac Life


In a last-minute twist to the plot , Islam Makhachev pulled out of the Fight Night headliner against Rafael Dos Anjos, and a very unexpected replacement fighter has emerged. Paul Felder is stepping up to fight on an event he was scheduled to do commentary on,  to take on the former lightweight champion. It’s always unfortunate when a fighter has to pull out of a contest, but last minute replacement fights often offer more excitement than the original pairing.   

1.Paul Felder (+128) vs Dos Anjos (-158)

Win or lose, Paul Felder has won over a lot of fans with his willingness to step in  on just a few day’s notice for a 5 round fight. It comes as something as a surprise, as the last time we saw Felder in the octagon, he was seriously contemplating retirement. But if you’re willing to take on a fighter like Rafael Dos Anjos on this short of notice, you don’t have one foot out the door. Dos Anjos, who is making his return to the lightweight division, is probably one of the most underappreciated fighters in MMA. The former lightweight champion has taken on the biggest names in both the lightweight, and welterweight division, and has been doing so since 2010.

RDA has fought Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Nate Diaz, Kamaru Usman, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, Eddie Alvarez, Robbie Lawler, and Colby Covington to name a few. There isn’t anything Felder can show him that he hasn’t seen and dealt with in the past. He is the favorite in this fight because he has had a full training camp, preparing to fight Islam Makhachev, but is only a slight favorite as per fanduel, because of how dangerous Felder is. There is a perceived disadvantage to taking such a short notice fight, but we’ve also seen many cases where the short notice has served a fighter well. With less time to have to stew in the stresses of anticipating and training for a fight, the nothing to lose attitude coupled with not having high expectations has brought out the best in some athletes. If there is a fighter who you could imagine doing well on short notice, it’s Felder.  

At the end of the day 

Felder is as tough as they come, and technically as sound as you’ll see as a striker. He is also strong in the clinch and able to muscle himself out of bad positions in the grappling realm on the feet. But the experience of RDA will guide him to staying out of trouble when Felder is most dangerous in the first two rounds. He is the more skilled fighter on the mat, and his boxing is as good or better than Felder’s as well. He does have holes in his striker defense and he tends to leave his chin out and swing from the hip, but he will be able to take Felder’s best, and ultimately overcome him.

Pick: Rafael Dos Anjos

2. Abdul Razak Alhassan (-250) vs Khaos Williams (+198)

 Alhassan is one scary individual. With a record of 10-2 with all wins coming by way of KO/TKO, what’s eve more unsettling to all of his opponents that he is a judo based fighter, who has trained and competed in the sport for 22 years before transitioning to MMA. In his last fight, despite missing weight and taking a loss, he managed to perform well enough to earn the fight of the night honors. Before the loss, he was on a downright nasty streak of 3 wins in a row, with all fights coming by first-round KO/TKO. Alhassan is a devastating puncher with good accuracy, his right, and left hooks have a way of finding the temple and the jaw. So it’s no surprise that Khaos Willaims enters this fight as the underdog, Williams who is quite the aggressive striker himself, comes into this fight after scoring the upset first-round KO/TKO victory in his UFC debut against Alex Morono. Williams scored the upset in his debut, and he is capable of doing it again. But Alhassan has a mean streak that is next level. Alhassan does throw caution to the wind and goes for the kill early, but overall he is more composed and more mindful of defense than Williams. 

 At the end of the day  

Williams has plenty of power of his own, as well as killer instinct. But swinging wildly with looping punches is bound to get you in trouble against the incredibly dangerous and aggressive Alhassan.

Pick: Abdul Razak Alhassan

3. Julian Marquez (-320) vs. Saparbeg Safarov (+245)

Anytime a fighter is coming off of shoulder surgery and a long layoff, you have to consider it when it comes to making a pick on fanduel. This is why it’s somewhat surprising to see Marquez as such a heavy favorite to win this fight. He has certainly fought tougher competition than his counterpart, Saparbeg Safarov. But being a -320 favorite over a fighter that has similar experience and a history of finishing fights early seems to be a bit much. 

At the end of the day

Although the betting line may seem a little too far apart on the service, there is no question that Marquez should be the favorite to win. With only 9 professional fights under his belt, he is still very much developing as a mixed martial artist. But the big power that has brought him 6 KO/TKO victories out of his 7 wins has a lot of pundits high on him, and it’s that big power that’ll be the catalyst for his victory.  

Pick: Julian Marquez

4.Eryk Anders (-152) vs Antonio Arroyo(+124)

Eryk Anders vs Antonio Arroyo is a sleeper on this card that has the potential to be the fight of the night. Fanduel has Anders as a slight favorite by virtue of being the name fighter out of the two, having competed in the UFC for the past year, taking on the likes of Lyoto Machida, Thiago Santos, and Khalil Rountree. As opposed to Arroyo who has just one fight on in an official UFC event, with 2 appearances on Dana Whites Contender series. Both fighters are considered powerful strikers and have most wins by stoppage. Anders has been tested on the feet against higher caliber talent, but Arroyo is the better grappler. The southpaw Anders ended a lot of fights via KO/TKO early in his career, he tends to come out swinging early, but we’ve also seen him start tentatively as of late. 

At the end of the day     

Arroyo throws massive heat in every strike, he has very impactful low leg kicks that he fires at full power every time. Anders has a bit of a history of not checking kicks and letting his opponent set the pace. Arroyo is a good dog in this fight, he not only does damage down low but has a wicked arsenal of diverse striking techniques, including head kicks. His aggressive nature will give him the edge.   

Pick: Antonio Arroyo

Jose Quinonez (+122) vs Louis Smolka(-150)

 Louis Smolka will be making his 18th UFC appearance when he takes on Jose Quinonez. The well-rounded Smolka has quietly amassed a 10-7 record in the big show, having never lost a fight by KO/TKO. Quinonez has been on the UFC roster for the past 6 years as well but has a record of 5-3 in the same period of time. Quinonez has found a lot of his success by going the distance, whereas Smolka is more of a finisher. 

 At the end of the day

Smolka has been a far more active fighter over the years, and while he has been on a 4 fight losing skid under the UFC banner, only 2 of his 10 wins have gone the distance. Quinonez is tough, but it’s a wonder Smolka isn’t a betting favorite by a wider margin. 

Pick: Louis Smolka

It’s a testament to how dangerous Felder is that he is just a (+128) underdog against one of the most under appreciated fighters in MMA, Rafel Dos Anjos. Last-minute replacement fights are always must-see T.V, because the epic upset is always a potential outcome. Especially when a fighter like Paul Felder is involved. 

Are you ready to make your fight picks? Head over to fanduel and enter the fight night contest for this weekend!


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