Rafael dos Anjos



Drops main event in Vegas
August 12, 2023
Dos Anjos lost to Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (46-49, 47-48, 47-48) at UFC on ESPN 51 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Entering as a very slight (-115) favorite in what was essentially a pick 'em, dos Anjos started quickly before fading. Common wisdom suggest RDA would have the grappling advantage between the two, but that turned out to most definitely not be the case. Luque managed to stave off 5-of-7 dos Anjos takedown attempts, primarily because he was the much bigger man. A natural lightweight, this is something dos Anjos is going to have to deal with every single time he competes at welterweight. He's simply too undersized for the division. It's not going to impact him against lesser competition, but it becomes a huge issue against quality opponents. Set to turn 39 years of age in late October, RDA is in a very tough spot moving forward. He's 3-4 in his past seven bouts and doesn't feel close to making a surge in any division at this point.
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Luque fight re-scheduled
May 11, 2023
Dos Anjos will fight Vicente Luque at the UFC's Aug. 12 event, according to MMAFighting.com.
Initially expected to be at UFC Fight Night 225, the RDA-Luque fight will be postponed to about a month later. Now, FN225's headliner will be a bantamweight bout between Holly Holm and Mayra Silva. Except for the date, nothing about dos Anjos' upcoming fight has changed. It remains a welterweight five-rounder against Luque.
Slated to fight in July
April 29, 2023
Dos Anjos will take on Vicente Luque in a welterweight matchup at UFC Fight Night on July 15, MMAFighting.com reports.
Dos Anjos will compete in his first fight since defeating Bryan Barberena via submission in December of 2022, resulting in his third victory in his last four trips to the cage. Luque, meanwhile, has lost back-to-back fights, albeit to high-level opponents. While Luque holds the advantage in terms of striking volume, look for dos Anjos to do everything in his power to exploit his opponent's 61 percent takedown defense and get this fight to the mat.
Easy win in return to welterweight
December 3, 2022
Dos Anjos defeated Bryan Barberena via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:20 of Round 2 at UFC on ESPN 42 on Saturday in Orlando.
It was a flawless performance from dos Anjos in his return to welterweight. The former UFC Lightweight Champion, RDA has bounced between weight classes in recent years. He was giving up plenty of size to Barberena, as is typically always the case when he competes at 170 pounds, but his grappling advantage over his opponent was so massive that dos Anjos was able to cruise to victory. He landed 4-of-6 takedowns in the brief bout, good for 6:36 worth of control time. It was excellent job by RDA of fighting to both his strengths and his opponent's weaknesses. Now 38 years of age, dos Anjos is just a .500 fighter (3-3) dating back to July 2019, but he obviously has considerably more talent than that record would lead you to believe. Don't count RDA out just yet.
Moves up to 170 to face Barberena
October 4, 2022
Dos Anjos is in line to move up to welterweight to face Bryan Barberena at the UFC event scheduled for Dec. 3, Raphael Marinho of Combate.com reports.
After a late-career move down to lightweight, dos Anjos now moves back to the weight class he was once champion at to take on a high-volume striker in Barberena. The size disadvantage that was typically apparent during RDA's days at 170 pounds will again be on display here, as he gives up two inches in reach and four inches in height to his scheduled opponent. As usual, RDA will look to make that up with the takedown, as Barberena sports just a 55 percent takedown defense. Even in Barberena's three recent victories, he was taken down a total of nine times. Should RDA manage to execute his ground game and rack up control time, it might be the best path to victory for the 37-year-old.
Finished late by Rafael Fiziev
July 9, 2022
Dos Anjos lost to Rafael Fiziev via KO (punches) at 0:18 of Round 5 at UFC on ESPN 39 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Dos Anjos was almost certainly on his way to losing a unanimous decision, although he did appear to be making some headway heading into the final frame. 18 seconds and one sweeping left hook from Fiziev later, RDA's evening was over. The final striking numbers were close (92-90 Fiziev), but dos Anjos was hopelessly outclassed on the feet by his younger, faster opponent. That led to RDA attempting a whopping 16 takedowns, two of which landed. Dos Anjos' 6:13 worth of control time looks good on paper, but he was never really able to maximize his positional advantage. RDA will be 38 years of age in late-October. He showed in his dominant unanimous decision win over Renato Moicano in March that there is still plenty of gas left in the tank, but matching dos Anjos up against legitimate future title contenders like Fiziev is a recipe for disaster. Dos Anjos is firmly entrenched in "gatekeeper" status at this stage of his career.