Rafael dos Anjos overcame the challenge of Robbie Lawler at UFC on Fox 26 in Winnipeg on Saturday night, cementing his place as a top contender in the welterweight division.
The Brazilian native put on a dominant display, coming away with a unanimous decision victory having won all five rounds on each of the three judges scorecards.
Dos Anjos moved up a weight-class to 170-lbs earlier this year after losing back-to-back fights at lightweight, the division he is a former champion of. Since his step up in weight he has amassed an impressive 3-0 record.
This most recent win over the former welterweight champion and number 2 ranked contender in the division should see dos Anjos climb right into contention for a crack at Tyron Woodley’s strap.
He was quick to point out in his post-fight Octagon interview with John Anik that he feels he is ready. According to the ex-155 lbs champ himself, his clinical performance against the ‘Ruthless’ one, where he typically applied copious pressure from the outset, taking the fight to his opponent and leading with vicious leg-kicks, should be enough to prove he is deserving of a welterweight title shot.
His return to top form in his new division is something that Dana White, Sean Shelby and co will have had a close eye on, undoubtedly.
After the fight, number 1 contender for Woodley’s belt and fan favourite Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson was quick to call out the 33-year-old.
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
That would indeed be an enthralling battle.
However, RDA has other plans which involve bypassing Thompson.
“In my opinion I just beat the toughest guy in the division I think I deserve it because of my history.
“I have been in the UFC 10 years already and I think I did enough to deserve the title shot,” he said.
Check out his interview in the immediate aftermath of his momentous W: