Rafael dos Anjos is a former UFC Lightweight Champion, and now he’s paving his way for a championship in the welterweight division.
Tonight in the main event of UFC on Fox 26, Dos Anjos took on the last man to hold the welterweight championship before reigning champion Tyron Woodley, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.
There was no touch of the gloves. RDA landed a leg kick and then went for a body kick. Ruthless returned with a combo of punches. Dos Anjos hit another leg kick that almost took Lawler off his feet. Robbie came in with a combination, pressing Rafael up against the fence, but RDA landed some knees on the way out. Dos Anjos landed a right hand and then another leg kick. Robbie pressed RDA up against the fence, then Dos Anjos did the same, then Lawler went back to pressing Rafael against the fence. RDA landed a knee and Ruthless hit some body shots and a knee before the two broke away.
Round 1 was anyone’s round.
Dos Anjos hit a body shot early in Round 2, but Lawler returned with some hard punches. Robbie stalked RDA along the fence and landed two more punches. Rafael returned with some jabs. The two returned to the center of the octagon and Dos Anjos landed some big punches of his own, then a flying knee, then swarmed in with body shots and headshots. Lawler stood there up against the fence, defending himself but unable to move out of there as Dos Anjos punched him for 23 seconds. RDA later hit a takedown but Ruthless was right back up.
— UFC (@ufc) December 17, 2017
Dos Anjos missed with a huge uppercut. Robbie threw a brief flurry then pressed RDA on the cage. Lawler followed up with a jab, and then a nice exchange by both of them. Again, Lawler pressed his opponent up against the cage and landed a few knees.
Lawler again stalked Dos Anjos along the perimeter in Round 3, landing some huge body shots. RDA returned with a nice level change, taking his opponent down with a double leg. Rafael held Lawler up against the fence as Robbie landed some body shots.
Lawler worked his way back up, landing more body shots up against the fence. RDA landed a knee. Uppercut by Lawler. Another knee by Rafael. Ruthless still pressed his opponent up against the cage.
Dos Anjos knocked Lawler down with what looked like a push, landing in Robbie’s half guard. RDA then proceeded to rain down some huge elbows and punches. He tried to pass to side mount as the round came to an end.
Dos Anjos easily had that round.
Round 4 and again Lawler stalked RDA around the perimeter. Dos Anjos hit a leg kick, but soon it was time for more fence pressing.
The two broke away, and then it was Rafael’s time to do some stalking. Dos Anjos pressed Ruthless on the fence and went for a double leg, but nothing. Big punch by RDA before the two moved closer to the center.
Dos Anjos went in with an uppercut. He missed, but landed with a straight left.
More fence pressing. RDA wound up but missed with a huge left. Two jabs by Dos Anjos but Lawler followed up with a 1-2 punch.
Again, they were up against the fence. RDA landed a knee to the body and then landed some jabs. Big flying knee by Dos Anjos seconds before the bell!
Touch of the gloves in the final around, and Robbie had to know he was behind. Lawler with his back to the cage as RDA landed some nice punches to the face, then one to the body.
Dos Anjos went for a takedown but Lawler sat, holding onto RDA. He didn’t do anything, so referee Herb Dean stood the fighters up.
Seconds after, RDA went for another takedown, but Lawler stayed up. Big knee by Rafael followed by some punches. Lawler returned with some punches of his own, though.
The two moved to the center. Rafael hit an inside leg kick, then charged in with some jabs, and they were back on the fence.
The last thirty seconds of the fight wound down and Lawler looked like he was struggling to stay in it.
By the end of the round, there was no question of who won, and the judges knew it. They gave the match to RDA via unanimous decision.
Rafael dos Anjos is now not only 3-0 in the welterweight division, but he has earned a decisive victory over one of its former champions. Has he made a strong enough argument for getting the next shot at Tyron Woodley?
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BY UNANIMOUS DECISION!
— UFC (@ufc) December 17, 2017