Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos put on an impressive performance tonight as he got the better of Robbie Lawler over the course of five rounds in the main event of UFC on FOX 26.
The main event of the evening is underway in Winnepeg, Canada!
Leg kick for RDA. Now a body kick. Lawler feels out with punches. They trade at close range and both land, but Lawler seemed to get the better of it.
RDA steps in and Lawler tries to counter with the right hook. Another punch just whiffs past Dos Anjos’ head. Good leg kick for RDA and Lawler didn’t like that.
Lawler with a nice series of punches. RDA into the muay thai clinch and landing several hard knees to the body of Lawler. Lawler walks him over to the other side of the cage and then separates.
RDA with leg kicks again and then a right hand. Now a body kick. Lawler comes charging in with a few strikes to the head and then as he gets Dos Anjos to the cage he rips a few hard punches to the body.
Lawler and RDA battling in the clinch. Dos Anjos working knees. Back and forth they go in the final minute of the round. More knees for RDA and punches to the body from Lawler. Knee from Lawler as they seperate. Clipping hook from Lawler in the final seconds of the round.
Body kick for RDA. Dos Anjos with another leg kick, but Lawler just wades in with big punches. Dos Anjos willing to trade though and that gets the crowd excited as heavy leather starts flying.
Lawler maintaining the pressure and looking for hard punches. RDA still picking his moments to land those leg kicks though and one to the body.
Punches miss for RDA, but he does connect with the leg kick. Now a left hook gets through for Dos Anjos and then more behind it that lands nicely.
Lawler with a clipping shot. Dos Anjos suddenly pouring on the pressure with a storm of strikes as lawler stays up against the cage. A body shot in there seemed to hurt Lawler, but he hands in there and starts doing a good job of rolling with the punches and covers up very nicely under this relentless assault.
Dos Anjos put a lot into this and he’s not been able to put Lawler away, and now it’s Lawler who lashes out with a few punches.
They go back to the center of the Octagon and RDA fails on a takedown attempt. His output is now slowing, while Lawler on the other hand seems ok and is now starting to land punches of his own.
Lawler with a solid selection of whipping punches as he looks to turn the screw in the final stage of the round.
Lawler immediately closing the distance and backing up Dos Anjos. Leg kick for Dos Anjos. Lawler into the clinch against the cage. He starts ripping to the body of his opponent.
RDA goes for a takedown and lands it. That’s big for him as Lawler gets his back up against the cage. He’s trying to stand, but RDA is trying to stay heavy on top. Lawler landing punches to the body.
Lawler stands back up and reverses the clinch position. Still over half the round remaining. Knees from RDA, a few punches to the body from Lawler.
Hard punches to the midsection from Lawler. They exchange knees. They jockey for position against the cage. Short elbow inside from RDA.
Lawler suddenly opens up with some huge punches, but Dos Anjos pushes him off an elbow and Lawler stumbles backwards and drops to his back.
RDA gets on top. He starts to land a few hard ground and pound strikes. Dos Anjos thinking about a choke in the final few seconds of the round.
Body kick for RDA. And another one. Lawler swings for the fences with a left hook. Left hand for RDA. leg kick for Dos Anjos. Lawler with a left and right combo.
Lawler into the clinch, but doesn’t stay their long this time. Jab from Lawler. RDA backs him up and lands a body shot and then one upstairs. Lawler fires back though.
RDA into the clinch. Midway through the round and he lands a couple of hard knees to the body. Body punches for Lawler. Hard elbow for RDA as they separate.
Leg kick for RDA. Lawler is definitely having trouble with those. RDA back into the clinch. Left hand gets through for RDA as he steps away. Another leg kick for Dos Anjos. Lawler uncorks a couple of big punches. He seems to be struggling a bit though as those leg kicks take their toll.
Another clinch position for Dos Anjos and knees to the midsection land. Then body punches and a solid punch upstiars. Head kick too for RDA is partially blocked.
Lawler stumbles – that was due to his legs. They are in bad shape and are limiting his ability to fight. RDA with a flying knee. Lawler is having to gut it out at this stage in the fight.
Right hand gets through for RDA and puts Lawler back. He just can’t seem to maintain a solid base, but he’s trying his best anyway. Lawler with punches and then RDA clips him and knocks him back again.
Dos Anjos moves in with a hard body punch. RDA with a takedown. Lawler just tieing him up here and so it’s not long before the ref stand them up.
RDA pressuring again immediately in the clinch. As we’ve seen often before in this fight RDA works a few knees to the body and Lawler lands a few puunches to the midsection.
Now RDA starts to unleash a few more meaningful punches. Now a nice inside elbow. Good uppercut. Another uppercut lands. Lawler with a couple of quick punches to the head.
left hook for Lawler. Leg kick for RDA. Hard punch to the body from RDA. Lawler clocks him with a hook. LEg kick for RDA. Right hand to the face of Lawler.
FLying knee from RDA lands, then into the clinch. Whipping elbow from RDA as Lawler targets the body. Another elbow strike. Knee to the body. Spinning elbow misses for the Brazilian. They back up and thats the final action of the fight.
So, both fighters fought hard, but Lawler faded later in the fight after appearing to be struggling with a damaged leg – potentially a knee injury.
On the other hand RDA maintained an impressively high pace and volume of strikes throughout and so he deservedly emerges with a clean sweep on the scorecards(50-45 x3) for a unanimous decision victory that will put him firmly into the title picture at 170lbs.