INDIANAPOLIS – Rafael dos Anjos’ star continues to rise in the lightweight division.
The Brazilian fighter took the lead early in a three-round bout with Donald Cerrone and fended off a late-fight surge to take home a unanimous decision.
The lightweight bout was the co-main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 27 event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on FOX Sports 2 and Facebook.
The final scores were 29-28, all in favor of dos Anjos, who did his best work early in the fight when he dropped Cerrone with a right hand and then scored with ground and pound late in the opening frame.
Cerrone attempted to even the score in the second with a takedown of his own, but dos Anjos worked his way back to his feet and ended the round dishing out punishment from top position.
Cerrone’s long limbs served him best in the third frame, as he landed a series of punishing kicks and punches that had dos Anjos on his bicycle.
The fighters matched each other almost kick for kick early in the fight, with the taller accenting his attack with a lunging knee and dos Anjos winging big hooks.
Once a middle-of-the-road fighter in the 155-pound division, dos Anjos (20-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) now has won five straight as a lightweight, though his past four have gone to the scorecards.
“This win over Cerrone is my fifth straight, so I’ve taken a big step forward in my career,” dos Anjos said after the win. “Whenever the UFC thinks I’m ready for a title shot, I’d be honored to take it.”
Cerrone (20-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC), meanwhile, continues to struggle to break out of the pack, going 3-2 in his past five outings, including a decision over K.J. Noons in his most recent appearance at UFC 160.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 27 results include:
- Rafael dos Anjos def. Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kelvin Gastelum def. Brian Melancon via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:26
- Court McGee def. Robert Whittaker via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
- Takeya Mizugaki def. Erik Perez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Brad Tavares def. Robert McDaniel via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dylan Andrews def. Papy Abedi via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:32
- Brandon Thatch def. Justin Edwards via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:23
- Darren Elkins def. Hatsu Hioki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jason High def. James Head via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:41
- Zak Cummings def. Ben Alloway via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 4:19
- Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo declared a no-contest (unintentional illegal knee) – Round 2, 4:57
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 27, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
Matt Erickson contributed to this report on-site in Indianapolis.