UFC Fight Night on FOX – Winnipeg
Main Event: “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs Rafael “RDA” Dos Añjos (27-9) for a proposed shot at Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title.
Lawler comes off a unanimous decision victory over perennial top ten contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 214. Dos Añjos, after losing his lightweight title to Eddie Alvarez, as well as subsequently losing a following contender bout to Interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, has since regrouped, moved to up to the welterweight division where he has looked every bit as dominant as when he enjoyed his best performances at lightweight.
Lawler opened up taking the center of the octagon. Both fighters traded punches early, each landing. Calf kick by Dos Anjos landed nicely. Lawler returned. Dos Anjos went to the clinch as Lawler pushed forward.They separate, as both fighters attempt to establish their respective range. Dos Anjos again landed the big calf kick, and again. These will have to be accounted for by Lawler. Lawler once again pushed forward. Dos Anjos evades, reset to the center. The story of the first round was each fighter establishing what they wish to do. Dos Anjos’ calf kicks were the biggest story, Lawler began to show wear of them.
The MMA Takeover Unofficial Scorecard: Round 1 – Dos Anjos 10-9
Both fighters again take the center, Lawler comes foward with urgency landing some big shots on Dos Anjos against the cage. Another calf kick landed by Dos Anjos, now body kick. The kicks are very effective for Dos Anjos. Now Dos Anjos with the big left hand, then a knee Dos Anjos pushed Lawler against the cage, began to unload on Lawler, a plethora of unanswered strikes for Dos Anjos landed on Lawler against the cage. Lawler seemed to have worn them well, as Dos Anjos looked to have tired slightly. Lawler pushed back toward Dos Anjos, showing little effects from the flurry he sustained from the Brazilian. Lawler then had Dos Anjos against the fence in the final minute of the round. Close round, tough to call.
The MMA Takeover Unofficial Scorecard: Round 2 – Dos Anjos 10-9
Lawler pushed forward immediately, as Dos Anjos attempted to clinch in defense against the cage, Dos Anjos then turned Lawler around, subsequently dropping down for a double leg takedown. Dos Anjos maintained control through the middle of the round, two minutes worth. Lawler went to the dirty boxing against the cage, seemingly to quell the high output of Dos Anjos. Lawler continued to land inside shots until Dos Anjos dropped Lawler with a short inside elbow to the head, immediately jumping on Lawler, raining down his elbow ground and pound. Dos Anjos put a stamp on the round in the final thirty seconds.
The MMA Takeover Unofficial Scorecard: Round 3 – Dos Anjos 10-9
Lawler semmingly sustained a knee injury as alluded to by Jon Anik overhearing Robbie’s corner in between rounds. Both fighters seem to have slowed in a bit in the fourth showing a more frugal output early. Dos Anjos with more calf kicks. now digging to the body. Dos Anjos put Lawler against the fence again mid round, now doing his own dirty boxing. Lawler’s movement slowed significantly toward the latter part of the round. The clinch against the fence for Dos Anjos left Lawler with no answer in this round. A flying knee to close it out landed as well.
The MMA Takeover Unofficial Scorecard: Round 4 – Dos Anjos 10-9
Lawler could not plant his leg at all, he was staggered by an early jab because he had no base left. Dos Anjos again backed Lawler against the fence, then again dropped down for another double leg takedown, Lawler held, both fighters were stood back up by Dean. Back to the clinch Dos Anjos went, short elbows, body shots, all landing. Dos Anjos then elected to step back, landing some punches, then went right back to the clinch again. Lawler absolutely frozen against the cage, unable to have an answer with his leg in as bad of shape it was in. This was all Rafael Dos Anjos chipping away at Lawler in the clinch.
The MMA Unofficial Scorecard: Round 5 – Dos Anjos 10-9
UFC Official Result: Rafael Dos Anjos defeats Robbie Lawler via Unanimous Decision 50-45
The fight was mostly all Dos Anjos, while Lawler enjoyed success only sparingly. The injury to Lawler’s leg a definite variable, yet the result might not have been much different even with a healthy Lawler. Dos Anjos fought an incredibly intelligent fight, fantastic performance by the Brazilian likely securing himself a shot at the title opposite Tyron Woodley with that victory.