Streaking UFC Lightweight contender Rafael dos Anjos got the biggest win of his career at last night UFC Fight Night 27 over No. 6 ranked Donald Cerrone. It was an impressive performance that saw dos Anjos dominates Cerrone in his perceived area of strength, striking. The Brazilian rocked “Cowboy” with an early right hand, nearly finishing him, and continued to push the pace with vicious kicks to the body.
Not a lot of people knew much about dos Anjos or gave him much of a chance against the popular Cerrone, but dos Anjos put himself on the map in a big way last night. He met up with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani to discuss how he got the job done:
“I look at his eyes in the second round. I see, like, I broke his mind in the first round, so that’s why I keep put the pressure. So I got the second one too. And then in the third one, only chance he have was to knock me out.”
Dos Anjos makes a good point, as Cerrone has run through most of the mid-level competition he’s faced in the UFC, but has tended to disappear against top fighters, evident by his loss to Nate Diaz. “Cowboy” just didn’t put forth his usual volume of strikes, and dos Anjos translated his standup success into some great elbows after a first round takedown.
The win will most likely have dos Anjos in line to face a top Lightweight. Names like Grant, Maynard, or Diego Sanchez should he get past Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166 this October come to mind. What is your take on this well-rounded Brazilian?