Rafael dos Anjos (30-13) had a triumphant return in the 155-pound division as he picked up a decision victory against his last-minute opponent Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder (17-6) in UFC Fight Night on Saturday, November 14 (Sunday, November 15 Philippine time) at UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Coming from his rocky stint in the welterweight division, the former UFC lightweight champion Dos Anjos displayed his grappling superiority and kept Felder stuck against the fence and on the ground all throughout the fight.
Felder – who was originally training for a triathlon event and was scheduled to join the broadcast table for this event – filled in for the injured and No.12 ranked lightweight fighter Islam Makhachev just 5 days before the fight.
Despite the short notice, Felder still managed to get the upper hand in the striking category and had an explosive start in the 4th round, where he threw out speedy combinations and even scored a takedown.
But Dos Anjos did not flinch and widen up the cut on Felder’s forehead before the 4th round ended. The Brazilian, then, completely took over in the final round as the bloody Felder got pinned yet again to the canvas.
With Khabib out of the picture and after his victory against the No. 7 ranked lightweight, Dos Anjos believes he and Conor McGregor deserve to meet each other for the vacant lightweight title.
“If Khabib is really retired, it will leave the division wide open,” Dos Anjos said. “If you look at the contenders, I think only me and Conor, we are the only real champions in this division, everybody else is an interim champion.”
McGregor, though, is reportedly set to face former interim champion Dustin Poirier in his return to the octagon.
In the co-main event, Kalinn “Khaos the Ox Fighter” Williams (11-1) only needed half a minute to pick up his second straight victory in UFC as he knocked out Abdul Razak “Judo Thunder” Alhassan (10-3) with a one-hit, vicious right hand.
The quick win had Williams recording back-to-back fights that ended under a minute. Back in February, Williams finished Alex Morono in his UFC debut in just 27 seconds.
“This feels amazing. This is more important than that first one for me,” said Williams. “I came in with a splash, let the division know, let the world know I was here and this one just let everybody know it wasn’t no fluke.”
“I’ve been grinding for a minute, all the hard work and dedication, all the years, it amounted up to this moment. A lot of people slept on me and here I am,” he added. – Rappler.com