Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson wasted absolutely no time in making his wish to fight the former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos known, and now, RDA has responded.
Last weekend’s UFC Winnipeg managed to deliver on many different levels for those in attendance and those watching at home but for the former 155lb kingpin Rafael dos Anjos, it amounted to a career-high he will not soon forget.
After five gruelling rounds against one of the sport’s most legendary brawlers, Robbie Lawler, RDA was awarded the unanimous decision victory, with all three judges scoring the contest 50-45 in his favour. It was a pick’em contest, in truth, going in but after a few tight rounds, the Brazilian began to assert his dominance, utilising slick head-movement, constant pressure and some brutal leg-kicks to nullify Robbie’s attack.
Now, with such a huge win under his belt, many have wondered at what will be next for dos Anjos and though the champ Tyron Woodley will no doubt be the favourite to throw down with him next, it hasn’t stopped one of the division’s very best from making his call-out heard.
That was a WAR! Hats off to both RDA and Robbie for that effort! I can be back in the Octagon this March. @RdosAnjosMMA , let’s give the fans another treat. We both want gold, it’s only fitting we battle for it! @ufc #UFCWinnipeg @danawhite
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) December 17, 2017
A lot of prospects doing a whole lot of talking. Let’s remember who the top dawgs are! Your time will come young guns, but in the meantime let’s make this fight! #RDAvsWonderboy
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) December 19, 2017
‘Wonderboy’, of course, went ten rounds with Woodley over the course of two matchups and though the first was regarded as one of the best fights of 2016, the second saw both men heavily criticised for what amounted to an overly-tactical affair in the eyes of the public.
Still, when you consider that everyone else has been supremely outclassed by Thompson in the last few years, the performance of the champ seems pretty impressive, especially when you factor in how good he looked in his last outing against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217.
Dos Anjos, though, with his eyes on that UFC belt, quickly shut down his would-be foe’s offer, with him instead making it clear that he wants his title-shot next.
Thank you @WonderboyMMA for recognizing me as a top dawg! You had your two shots…let me have mine ????
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) December 19, 2017
Many other options remain for ‘Wonderboy’, though, and with the likes of Darren Till, Colby Covington and now the aforementioned Lawler all without opponents, do not be surprised to see the game’s most polished striker back in action in no time.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena