Weekend Warrior: Dos Anjos-Lee Tips UFC Fight Night Spear
Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Contributor and Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC / Contributor (Getty Images)
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos has run hot and cold since he elected to move to 170 pounds a little less than two years ago, though at least part of the blame can be placed on his ridiculous strength of schedule.
Dos Anjos will continue to travel a perilous path, as he meets Kevin Lee in the five-round UFC Fight Night 152 headliner on Saturday at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. Meanwhile, surging Brazilian Vicente Luque puts his four-fight winning streak on the line in the co-main event, where a showdown with the well-traveled Derrick Krantz awaits.
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The 34-year-old Dos Anjos initially excelled as a welterweight, with consecutive victories over Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny and Robbie Lawler. However, he has since lost back-to-back bouts against Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, leaving him in the purgatory between gatekeeper and contender. Dos Anjos has been a UFC mainstay for more than a decade, as he has compiled a 17-9 record across 26 appearances with the organization.
Rafael Dos Anjos punches Colby Covington. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)
Lee, 26, operates out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. He wrestled collegiately at Grand Valley State University, a Division II institution in Grand Rapids, Michigan, before dropping out of school to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. Lee won his first seven professional fights, made his UFC debut in 2014 and has pieced together a 10-4 mark since. Victories over Edson Barboza, Francisco Trinaldo, Jake Matthews and Michael Chiesa anchor his resume.
Kevin Lee punches Al Iaquinta. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)
UFC Fight Night “Dos Anjos vs. Lee”—which streams live to ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT—also features a women’s bantamweight clash matching the unbeaten Aspen Ladd with Sijara Eubanks, a middleweight affair pitting Antonio Carlos Jr. against Ian Heinisch and a pair of lightweight tilts, as Charles Oliveira faces Nik Lentz and Davi Ramos tackles Austin Hubbard. ESPN+ will also carry the entire seven-fight undercard at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT, highlighted by a women’s featherweight battle between former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholders Megan Anderson and Felicia Spencer.
Outside the UFC, One Championship draws much of the attention. Shinya Aoki will defend his lightweight crown against Christian Lee in the One Championship “Enter the Dragon” headliner on Friday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. The event also features the organizational debut of UFC veteran Sage Northcutt and the return of submission grappling superstar Garry Tonon. “Enter the Dragon” streams live and free to the One Super App at 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT, available on Android and iOS platforms.