Rafael dos Anjos


Doesn't have enough for Leon Edwards
July 20, 2019
Dos Anjos lost to Leon Edwards via unanimous decision (45-50, 46-49, 46-49) at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
Dos Anjos started with low kicks early but it didn't work to his advantage, as Edwards saw an opening and took him down in the very first minute. RDA was able to get back to his feet around the 90-second mark but ate a kick on the way out. He continued going for leg kicks that were connecting, but he paid the price for it on multiple occasions. RDA held off the first takedown attempt from Edwards in the second round and continued to go after the legs before trying for a takedown of his own. He ate another left elbow from Edwards on the break that opened a cut under his right eye, but turned momentum back in his favor by executing a successful takedown. Edwards got back up and starting attacking the cut with his jab, busting it open even further. After a quick check from the doctor, the third round started with another hard leg kick from RDA, but it was Edwards getting the better of the striking exchanges. That pattern continued into the Championship Rounds, and while RDA had a couple brief moments, he likely entered the the final round down heavy on the scorecards. He had enough left in the tank to make several late charges, but Edwards avoided any serious damage and initiated clinches to eat up clock. This was mixed martial arts at its highest level, but dos Anjos appeared to run into a better athlete with a superior game plan in this one. He'll fall out of the top-5 after this loss, but should continue to see ranked opponents.
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Pegged for UFC San Antonio main event
June 13, 2019
Dos Anjos will square off against Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC San Antonio on July 20, Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reports.
Dos Anjos will give up four inches in reach and six inches in height, so he will likely look to keep the fight on the mat as much as possible. Dos Anjos holds an edge in takedowns per 15 minutes (2.02 to 1.33) and takedown accuracy (41 percent to 31 percent), but Edwards holds the advantage in takedown defense (67 percent to 59 percent) in what should be a fairly even match to finish off the card. Taking on an opponent like Edwards -- who is riding a seven-fight winning streak -- is one way for the veteran to accelerate his movement back into the title picture.
Taps out Kevin Lee in Rochester
May 18, 2019
Dos Anjos defeated Kevin Lee via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:47 of Round 4 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Rochester, New York.
RDA started slowly before finding his range. That, combined with Lee's poor cardio, led to the momentum turning. Dos Anjos struggled with the physicality of Lee in the early going, but he appeared to be biding his time and waiting for an opening. That's exactly what presented itself as the fight progressed. As soon as the opening for the arm-triangle presented itself, RDA quickly clamped it on and Lee was far too tired to offer any real resistance. When all was said and done, dos Anjos was credited with a 60 to 35 edge in significant strikes landed. He also landed 4-of-5 takedown attempts. RDA at age 34 and undersized for 170 pounds is probably best served returning to lightweight at this point in his career, but that doesn't appear to be an option for him moving forward. He would have been in a whole heap of trouble Saturday if Lee didn't gas out. The victory snaps a brief two-fight losing streak for the former UFC Lightweight Champion. After the fight, he said he plans to continue competing as long as he believes a title shot is within reach.
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.
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").