Rafael Natal (21-8) vs. Eryk Anders (7-0)
It is difficult to predict how Anders’ fighting style will translate in the UFC. He loves to fight aggressively and go for the kill, but someone as experienced as Natal should be able to neutralize him and drag Anders into deeper waters than he has thus far been asked to swim. Anders is not shy about going for the takedowns, but the level of competition he has faced so far is so far beneath Natal that there is no use guessing how effective those takedowns would be should Anders not succeed in getting the better of the striking exchanges.
If I’m Anders, I treat Natal with no respect. I fight with the same aggressiveness and confidence that landed him in the UFC. If he is to win this fight, that is the most likely way it will happen.
For Natal, If Anders is as green as I suspect he is from what I have seen, this fight could not last long. One thing I do not expect is for Anders to dominate Natal in the first round as he has done many of his pre-UFC opponents. After that, it’s just guesswork on how Anders will respond to the big time and matchup of longer duration against an opponent with the experience of Natal. There are far, far too many questions about Anders to make a solid prediction on this one, but my gut tells me Natal will win due to the experience advantage. The odds for this one are almost dead even if you are wondering, with Anders coming in as the small betting favorite at -125 as of this morning.
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