Kamaru Usman never let Rafael dos Anjos into their main event fight tonight at TUF 28 Finale, proving to be too big, strong and adept at wrestling to be overcome en-route to a decision victory.
Dos Anjos feeling out with the jab to start. Left hand connects for Usman. Front kick to the body for Usman and now a right hand. He reaches for a single leg and presses Dos Anjos against the cage.
Usman trying for the takedown, but RDA stays upright and gets back to striking range. Leg kick for Dos Anjos and hooks behind it.
Usman changing levels and lands a big takedown close to the cage. RDA able to get back to his feet with Usman still pressing his weight into him against the cage.
Body punch and hammerfist to the leg for Usman. elbow for Usman in close and then RDA breaks away.
Head kick attempt from Dos Anjos just misses. Body punch from Usman as RDA tries for a jumping knee. Usman presses him to the cage looking for the takedown again.
For now RDA defends and briefly flirts with the possibility of a guillotine choke then lets it go. Usman still working for the takedown and now lands it. Elbows for him as he keeps a high pace on top here with ground and pound. RDA finds the distance to land a big upkick, but Usman takes it well and ends the round on top.
Body kick for RDA. Punch then a body kick from Usman and then into the clinch. He tries for a takedown and RDA stuffs that, but Usman strikes and works into the clinch yet again.
Usman overpowering the former lightweight champion so far. He works hard for it and does finally get RDA on his back. Half the round remaining with Usman on top in his guard. RDA with some short hammerfists from the bottom.
Usman digging his elbow into Dos Anjos’ face. RDA suddenly trying for a kimura submission but he’s close to the cage here hampering his attempt. Even so he still manages to put Usman in enough trouble that he has to scramble to find a way out and does so.
Back on the feet Usman is immediately back into the clinch again. Upercut from RDA and more strikes behind it, throwing a head kick and then chopping leg kicks as he tries to battle his way back into the fight in the final seconds of the round.
Usman stepping forward with confidence to start the third as he closes the distance into the clinch and lands hard shots to the body. Usman letting his straight punches fly upstairs now and then back into the clinch and works for the takedown, getting RDA to one knee close to the cage.
RDA gets back up but eats a hard knee upstairs on the way. left and right hands now connecting for Usman. RDA trying to get his own strikes working too, but Usman is bossing the fight for the most part.
Usman lands another nice takedown. RDA trying for a kimura submission again, but Usman able to escape and threatens to go for a guillotine.
RDA manages to stand and for the first time he presses Usman into the cage and tries for a takedown of his own. Usman snuffs that out and instead drags him to the mat.
RDA back up, but he can find no room to operate here as Usman remains pressed right up against him.
They go to striking range. Usman with long, straight punches. RDA with a leg kick. Usman threatening with the takedown attempt again as the round ends.
Left hand for RDA. He goes for a head kick that’s blocked. Usman with a leg kick. Uppercut for Usman. Jab landing for him too.
leg kick for RDA, but then he gets caught by a few punches against the cage. Usman’s rangey strikes connecting here and then he goes for the takedown and lands it.
Usman wearing Dos Anjos down with heavy control and ground and pound now. RDA trying to find a way up, but eating shots as he does so.
RDA does get upright, but can find no escape from Usman who trips him immediately back to the mat. Heavy elbows for Usman now.
He looks to improve his position then again settles for a few more elbow strikes. Hammerfists from Usman. Dos Anjos struggling to deal with the bigger, stronger wrestler here as few few more choppy elbows land.
Big kick upstairs misses for Usman, but he follows up with big punches. He’s pressing forward with urgency in the final round here, perhaps looking to end the fight inside the distance.
However, he then switches into the clinch and brings RDA down yet again. Short shots for the already bloodied Dos Anjos. Nevertheless he still manages to stand as Usman fires off a few uppercuts. RDA with short knees inside and Usman returns with his own.
Usman with another takedown and RDA tries for a guillotine in vain. Usman with big hammerfists inside the guard. Elbow from the bottom lands for RDA.
Body punches for Usman. Final minute of the round now. Usman in control and landing a few more punches and elbows. Final 10 seconds of the round and Usman continues chipping away with strikes.
While he didn’t get a finish Usman impressed here by completely dominating Dos Anjos from start to finish here, largely with grappling, but also at times with strikes to earn a unanimous decision victory (50-43, 49-45, 48-47).