UFC on ESPN 51: Vicente Luque vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Alex Murray
By:
Alex Murray
11 Aug 23
Betting Magazine
News - Boxing
UFC on ESPN 51: Vicente Luque vs. Rafael dos Anjos

UFC fans will be treated to an eclectic lineup of fights at the UFC Apex on Saturday featuring matchups from nine of the promotion's 11 weight divisions. The co-main event of the night will feature UFC veteran featherweight Cub Swanson going up against Canadian striker Hakeem Dawodu. In the headlining bout, No. 10 welterweight Vicente Luque takes on former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. While Dawodu comes in as big chalk, the main event is being billed as a straight pick ‘em on the  moneyline  by most UFC betting sites and betting apps.

Highlights

  • Rafael dos Anjos is the very slight favorite in the main event with -120 odds
  • Vicente Luque will sport -110 odds as the very small underdog
  • Dawodu is one of the biggest favorites on the card with -235 odds

UFC on ESPN 51: Luque vs. dos Anjos Betting Odds - August 12th

All odds provided by Sports Interaction

Vicente Luque vs. Rafael dos Anjos Main Event Betting Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Vicente Luque

-110

+240

+555

+555

O4.5 (+115)

Rafael dos Anjos

-120

+625

+400

+230

U4.5 (-145)

In the featured bout of the evening we will see a pair of Brazilian brawlers in a welterweight showdown. The No. 10 welterweight contender, Vicente Luque (21-9-1), will be looking to rediscover the form that had him on his way to a title shot after winning 14 of his first 16 UFC fights. 

He has slipped recently, however, losing his last two fights. In his most recent battle against Geoff Neal in August of last year, Luque suffered arguably his worst defeat as he was battered by Neal on the feet, leading to a brutal straight KO win for Neal in the third. Luque suffered a scary brain hemorrhage from the bout but has since been cleared by doctors to return to the octagon.

That’s a worry for Luque, who is usually looking to fight on the feet and box his opponent, as evidenced by his 11 career knockouts. He does also have eight submission wins and a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, so he’s no slouch on the mat either.

The only trouble is, Luque is going up against a former UFC champion in Rafael dos Anjos (32-14) that has a fourth degree black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and has been around the block more than once since he first fought in the UFC back in 2008. Dos Anjos still has enough power to keep opponents honest, but he doesn’t hasn’t finished an opponent with strikes since 2015.

Dos Anjos is much more comfortable scrambling on the ground or grappling, spots from which he has racked up 11 submission wins in his career, including his most recent fight in December 2022 when he put a neck crank on Bryan Barbarena and got the submission win.

All of the tangible advantages would seem to be in Luque’s favor here: at 31 he is seven years his opponent’s junior, his 75.5 inch reach gives him a 5.5 inch edge, and at 5’11” he is three inches taller than dos Anjos, who stands at 5’8”.

Luque is the bigger, stronger, younger fighter, but we just can’t seem to get on his bandwagon right now. Luque is a ferocious puncher, but his apathetic attitude towards striking defense could become a problem after something as serious as a hemorrhage.

Dos Anjos also fights out of the southpaw stance, and Luque has struggled with crisp lefty punchers in the past, getting sauced by the likes of Neal, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, and the current welterweight champion, Leon Edwards.

Belal Muhammad also beat Luque recently by taking him down at will and using up seven minutes in top position. That’s the real worry here for Luque, because while Dos Anjos does like to work on his opponents with his boxing, he loves a takedown and when he gets them he has been known to unleash some of the most ghastly ground and pound you will see.

There is good value on dos Anjos since his moneyline has dropped from -150 to -120, but if you want even more value his odds to win by decision at +230 are also worth a look. 10 of Dos Anjos’ last 13 fights have gone the distance, and the Neal fight is the only time Luque has been finished inside the distance in over a decade.

Cub Swanson vs. Hakeem Dawodu Featherweight Co-Main Event Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Cub Swanson

+175

+600

+1,400

+375

O2.5 (-135)

Hakeem Dawodu

-235

+160

+1,200

+210

U2.5 (+105)

While Hakeem Dawodu should be the favorite here, the odds seem a little bit stretched. Cub Swanson has a massive advantage in terms of the quality of opponents he’s gone up against, and Dawodu is a pretty one-dimensional fighter. If Swanson can get a couple of takedowns, he should be able to lay on Dawodu to get the victory.

Dawodu will have the advantage on the feet, however, and Swanson’s penchant for suffering KOs via kick is not a good omen against a guy like Dawodu whose only UFC finish came via head kick. Most of the value lies with Swanson so his +175 odds to win straight up are worth consideration, but Dawodu to win by decision at +210 odds isn’t bad either.

Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of their lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.