UFC Fight Night 152 Staff Picks: Predictions for Dos Anjos vs. Lee

Bleacher Report Combat Sports StaffFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2019

UFC Fight Night 152 Staff Picks: Predictions for Dos Anjos vs. Lee

0 of 6

    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    The UFC is headed upstate on Saturday for Fight Night 152 in Rochester, New York. 

    Rafael Dos Anjos and Kevin Lee headline the card, with the former looking to get a victory in his first fight in 2019. The Brazilian could have be forgiven for having dreams of grandeur after winning three fights in 2017, but the following year wasn't kind to him and brought two tough losses. He'll look to get back to winning ways again Lee, who is eight years his junior. 

    The co-main event could bring some surprises, as Derrick Krantz is taking the fight against Vicente Luque on just a few days' notice after Neil Magny was forced out of the event due to a failed drug test

    Further down the card, Megan Anderson will look to make it two in a row after losing to Holly Holm a little less than a year ago, and Antonio Carlos Junior, who boasts the excellent nickname "Shoe Face," is aiming to continue his winning ways.

    Read on to see who B/R's expert panel of Scott Harris, Nathan McCarter and Jonathan Snowden are picking in each fight on the main card.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee

1 of 6

    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Scott Harris

    Colby Covington can be a bit of a downer. He was for Rafael dos Anjos, who a year-and-a-half ago handled Robbie Lawler to earn a lightweight title shot, only to be outwrestled by the real-life heel.

    Lee is a formidable wrestler in his own right, but Dos Anjos will show why he was considered so dangerous in the first place—for his improvement-centered mindset and fight IQ, as well as the jiu-jitsu that is his bread and butter.

    Dos Anjos, unanimous decision

             

    Nathan McCarter

    As much as I respect and admire RDA, this is a god-awful matchup for the Brazilian. Lee's size, strength and superior wrestling will carry him.

    I am not counting RDA out, as Lee has shown to leave holes for submissions and will have his hands full on the feet with Dos Anjos as well. But expect Lee to assume top control again and again and again throughout this fight. The grind exasperates RDA in the championship rounds, and that's when Lee picks up a quality rear-naked choke victory.

    Lee, Submission, Rd. 5

          

    Jonathan Snowden

    I was at Xtreme Couture a few years ago working on an unrelated story and found my attention continually dragged towards the young kid newly arrived to Las Vegas from Detroit. His potential was obvious, and his new coach, the late Robert Follis, told me the young fighter had championship potential.

    Although he's struggled when elevated to the tippy-top of the fight game, I believe that potential still rests inside Kevin Lee. This fight, against a former champion, will be his chance to finally let it out and shine.

    Lee, Unanimous Decision

Derrick Krantz vs. Vicente Luque

2 of 6

    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Harris

    All respect to Derrick Krantz for stepping in on just a few days' notice for Neil Magny, who failed a prefight drug test. But it's too tall an order to expect him to be competitive against an underrated killer like Luque, who comes in having won four straight, all by stoppage.

    Luque, submission, Rd. 1

         

    McCarter

    As Scott said, you have to respect Krantz stepping in here. He takes the opportunity, but he's going to get bludgeoned for it. Luque will finish him inside a round.

    Luque, TKO, Rd. 1

       

    Snowden

    Luque was a big favorite against Magny, a solid gatekeeper with a ton of tools and tricks. He should demolish a late-minute replacement even worse.

    Luque, TKO, Rd. 1

Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Ian Heinisch

3 of 6

    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Harris

    I have never picked against the "Shoe Face" and don't intend to start now. When is this guy going to get a step up on competition? His physical brand of jiu-jitsu will be too much for Heinisch, and the Brazilian will win his sixth straight.

    Carlos Junior, submission, Rd. 2

    McCarter

    Ol' "Shoe Face" over here has quietly put together a four-fight win streak, and no one is talking about it. His most recent victim was longtime UFC vet Tim Boetsch. I feel like Carlos Junior should be getting a better in-division fight than Ian Heinisch. If he can take down and submit the likes of Boetsch, he's going to do the same against Heinisch.

    Carlos Junior, Submission, Rd. 1

         

    Snowden

    As a writer, I tend to believe in the power of stories. All the great ones, at least it seems, are propelled to the top by sheer force of narrative.

    If that's true, even a little bit, Ian Heinisch is just getting started in the UFC. The man has been to prison on two continents. What can a guy nicknamed "Shoe Face" possibly do to scare him?

    Heinisch, Unanimous Decision

Megan Anderson vs. Felicia Spencer

4 of 6

    Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Harris

    Remember when everyone was harassing Megan Anderson to step in to face Cyborg Justino? The heat has understandably cooled a bit on that front lately, but Anderson remains a charismatic and potent competitor. In her fight with Spencer, she'll remind everyone why she deserves to be thought of as more than mere cannon fodder.

    Anderson, TKO, Rd. 2

        

    McCarter

    Anderson's loss to Holly Holm was the best thing to happen to her. It stopped the hype around her and kept her from being fed to Cyborg. She was able to just go back to the drawing board and continue to develop as a fighter. The undefeated Spencer is a fine fighter, but she hasn't fought the top featherweights yet. Anderson is a top featherweight.

    Look for Anderson's length to be the deciding factor as Spencer fails to get inside and turn this into a grappling affair. Anderson touches her up in the first and lands power shots in the second to get the TKO stoppage.

    Anderson, TKO, Rd. 2

        

    Snowden

    It feels like we've been hearing about Anderson forever—and I don't mean that as a compliment. She inserted herself in Cris Cyborg's life aggressively for a long time, then went missing in action when the time came to fight.

    Anderson's resume is mostly stocked with fighters from the bantamweight class and her future as a UFC fighter doesn't feel like it's on stable ground. Here she takes on her successor as the Invicta Featherweight Champion. After this? Who knows? Like men's flyweight, this class' UFC future is scarily uncertain.

    Anderson, TKO, Rd. 2

Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz

5 of 6

    Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Harris

    The neatest part about this matchup is remembering that Nik Lentz somehow remains on the UFC roster. He's like a cockroach—an incredibly boring cockroach—but credit where it's due: He's going for his third straight win here. But this is where it ends. Oliveira is finally putting it all together after years of inconsistency, and he'll further a streak of his own when he nabs his fifth win and repeats the outcome of their first fight back in 2015.

    Oliveira, unanimous decision

           

    McCarter

    Do Bronx is finally putting it all together, and this is a great matchup for him as well. He'll have a sizable reach advantage on the feet, and his dangerous ground game will stifle Lentz's top control should the fight hit the mat. If this fight happened a year ago, I'd likely still pick Oliveira but go with a decision. But in 2019, Oliveira's momentum sees him put Lentz away.

    Oliveira, Submission, Rd. 2

             

    Snowden

    These two men have already met twice in the Octagon. That's a good thing in this case, as both bouts took home Fight of the Night honors.

    Not much has changed to make me suspect this is Lentz's time to shine. Now 14 years into a journeyman's career, the third time won't be the charm for "the Carny."

    Oliveira, Submission, Rd. 2

Davi Ramos vs. Austin Hubbard

6 of 6

    Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Harris

    Davi Ramos is a grappler through and through, and I'm talking world-class levels. He'll be too much for a greenhorn like Austin Hubbard.

    Ramos, submission, Rd. 1

        

    McCarter

    Ramos is too good for Hubbard. They aren't going to feed a guy with elite-level ground skills, and riding a three-fight streak, to a newcomer. It's the other way around. Hubbard is here, on the main card, to be twisted into a pretzel. Ramos will oblige.

    Ramos, Submission, Rd. 1

         

    Snowden

    Ramos is a good grappler who has won his last three UFC fights by rear-naked choke. Add one more to the list.

    Ramos, Submission, Rd. 1