UFC Rochester: dos Anjos vs Lee
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, May 18, 2019
The UFC bring a strong main event to Rochester, New York Saturday night for UFC Fight Night on ESPN +, that’ll feature a welterweight bout between former UFC Lightweight Champion, Rafael dos Anjos and former lightweight title-contender Kevin Lee, who’ll be fighting at welterweight for the first time in his UFC career.
After losing a title-eliminator bout against Tony Ferguson in 2016, dos Anjos reassessed his career and felt that the time was right to move up to welterweight. By moving up a weight-class, dos Anjos wouldn’t have to go through anymore grueling weight cuts to make the 155lb limit instead, he could continue training and reserve more of his energy, which could lead to better performances as he’d be competing close to his natural weight.
The move up to welterweight was successful for dos Anjos as he would win his first three bouts at 170lbs; he defeated Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision, submitted Neil Magny in the first round, and defeated former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision.
Although dos Anjos had success early, he hasn’t had the best of luck recently as he will be coming into this fight on a two fight losing streak, with back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, who would go on to defeat Tyron Woodley to become the new UFC Welterweight Champion.
Kevin Lee will look to have similar success when he makes the move up to 170lbs, which is move many feel will have a positive impact on his career considering he’s another fighter who went through difficult weight-cuts to make the 155lb limit at lightweight.
Lee will also be coming into this fight off a loss after he lost to Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision back in December. The loss took Lee out of the title picture at lightweight because it was the second time that he’d been defeated by Iaquinta and the fighters ahead of him in the rankings including: Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, Donald Cerrone, and Justin Gaethje, all have impressive winning streaks.
Fighter have had success moving up from 155lbs to 170lbs and performed well without having to cut the extra 15lbs to make weight. Most recently, former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis moved up and defeated former title-challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson by TKO in the second round.
It’ll be interesting to see how well Lee performs at welterweight and whether dos Anjos will be able to get back in the win column because a third-straight loss especially to a fighter moving up a weight class could potentially put his UFC future in doubt.
Photo and Video Credit: UFC (@ufc)