Rafael dos Anjos
Booked for UFC Rochester
March 20, 2019
Dos Anjos is scheduled to fight Kevin Lee in a welterweight matchup at UFC Rochester on May 18, Damon Martin of MMAWeekly.com reports.
Both parties are looking to bounce back from their most recent losses, with dos Anjos having fallen in back-to-back fights to the likes of Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman. The former lightweight champion was experiencing quite a bit of success at the welterweight level before those two blunders, though, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him take advantage of an opponent in Lee who is just making the switch to welterweight. Dos Anjos, as a former lightweight himself, will concede a pronounced reach advantage to Lee, who was always considered large for the 155-pound division. Lee has the edge in volume striking, but dos Anjos has better accuracy and defensive striking marks.
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Familiar issues lead to undoing
November 30, 2018
Dos Anjos lost to Kamaru Usman via unanimous decision (43-50, 45-49, 47-48) at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in Las Vegas on Friday.
It may be the case that someone seated at the judges' table was an RDA fan, as 47-48 doesn't begin to describe the one-sided nature of this fight. RDA was able to land a few good shots, and got fairly deep on a Kimura in the second round but his moments of success were few and far between. Usman controlled the fight from the opening bell, backing RDA up, landing takedowns and hanging fairly well with the former lightweight champion on the feet. The 34-year-old will have had a career to look back on with pride no matter what happens in the future, but this is the second fight in a row that we have seen him unable to get much going against a powerful, committed wrestler. With a trio of strong wrestlers occupying the top of the welterweight division at the moment, it's hard to see a clear path for RDA to get to the title. He falls to 28-11 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
Reportedly fighting Usman in Ultimate Fighter 28 finale
September 12, 2018
Dos Anjos will take on welterweight Kamaru Usman in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 28 on Nov. 30, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports reports.
The 33-year-old Brazilian will look to bounce back after losing his last fight to Colby Covington in June. Dos Anjos has much more experience in the UFC promotion than Usman, but his opponent is unbeaten in eight matches in UFC. To make matters worse, Usman also has him beat in both height (6-foot vs. 5-foot-9) and reach (76" vs. 70").
Struggles to find range in Saturday's loss to Colby Covington
June 9, 2018
Dos Anjos came up short in his quest for the UFC Interim Welterweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Colby Covington via unanimous decision (47-48, 46-49, 47-48) at UFC 225 Saturday in Chicago.
With his time and space to operate extremely limited, RDA found himself struggling to generate offense against the smothering pressure of Covington. Dos Anjos landed nearly as many total strikes as the new champ (160-151), but they weren't half as effective as the damage Covington threw his way. And although RDA stuffed 16-of-23 takedown attempts, that constant pressure limited dos Anjos's ability to get in any sort of rhythm. RDA has proven time and time again that he's a legitimate threat in multiple divisions, but he didn't deserve to win this one. Covington constructed the perfect game plan to take home the hardware and RDA had few answers for it.
Favorite for UFC 225 matchup against Colby Covington
May 28, 2018
Dos Anjos is a slight betting favorite (-130) for his UFC 225 matchup against Colby Covington on June 9 in Chicago.
Dos Anjos is a perfect 3-0 since moving up to welterweight, but the increase in weight class means he'll concede height and reach advantages to Covington. This matchup was originally scheduled to be on RDA's home turf in Brazil, but the UFC ultimately chose to use it to help bolster what's arguably the best card of the summer. Style-wise, dos Anjos seemingly has an advantage in the striking department, as he lands a higher volume at a greater accuracy rate than Covington -- even with a much larger sample size of fights. RDA is a formidable grappler, but it's uncertain if he'll be comfortable fighting off his back against the larger Covington, who also happens to be an All-American wrestler.
To welcome Colby Covington to Brazil at UFC 224
April 3, 2018
Dos Anjos will take on Colby Covington for the interim welterweight title at UFC 224 on May 12 in Brazil, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
Since suffering back-to-back losses in the 155-pound division back in 2016, dos Anjos has reinvented himself in the welterweight division (170 pounds), winning three consecutive fights. He's been at a size disadvantage in each of those fights, and will be again against Covington, but that hasn't prevented him from winning the striking battle in each. Dos Anjos may be facing a younger opponent that has racked up five consecutive victories, but the home crowd will be heavily on his side, and he has much more experience on the UFC's biggest stage. The determining factor in this one will be whether RDA can defend the takedowns of Covington, who averages nearly six per fight. Dos Anjos sports a 66 percent takedown defense over a UFC career of 10 years, but that mark simply may not be good enough against the American wrestler.