Donald Cerrone no match for Rafael dos Anjos
Lightweight Rafael dos Anjos held on to earn an important win in his quest to fight the best at 155 pounds by scoring a unanimous decision over Donald Cerrone in Indianapolis . The victory marked dos Anjos's fifth straight inside the Octagon.
The 28-year-old Brazilian (20-6) set an early pace and landed punches that hurt "The Cowboy" in the opening frame. Dos Anjos landed his best strikes when he stepped in with a left hand to the body, followed by a right hook to the head. Cerrone went down, they scrambled and the former WEC star looked momentarily for a triangle choke. However, dos Anjos, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, maintained the proper space and distance, postured up, and found space to score points inside Cerrone's guard.
Dos Anjos kept it up in the second, even though Cerrone, 30, charged out of his corner looking to grapple. It worked, briefly, but dos Anjos returned to his feet and kept pace with his dangerous foe until about a minute to go. A late takedown sealed the round for dos Anjos, who remained keenly aware of Cerrone's submission ability.
Down two rounds to none, Cerrone (20-6) pressed the action in the third. Dos Anjos ceded ground; however, he never allowed himself to be in serious danger. The final five minutes went to Cerrone, although it wasn't nearly enough. Judges scoring from cage-side saw the contest 29-28 across the board for the Brazilian, who is now well positioned for a push up the 155-pound ladder.
Afterwards, dos Anjos hinted at his desire for a shot at the title. "This win over Cerrone is my fifth straight so I've taken a big step forward in my career," he said. "Whenever the UFC thinks I'm ready for a title shot, I'd be honoured to take it."