By Niall Clarke
- Rafael Dos Anjos retains the lightweight championship; calls out Conor McGregor
- Alistair Overeem defeats Junior Dos Santos in the co main event
- Nate Diaz defeats Michael Johnson; also calls out McGregor.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA- Rafael Dos Anjos made light work of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone to retain his UFC Lightweight title with a first round TKO.
*WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES*
The Brazilian is quickly cementing himself as one of the pound for pound best fighters in the world with the alarming ease he has been running through the Lightweight division.
Once a run in the mill fighter with seemingly a limited potential, Dos Anjos made rapid improvements over the years to become king of the lightweight division.
The unexpected nature of his climb led to questions against its legitimacy. There have been claims from many that the 31 year old had crossed the legal line- those doubters were put to rest inside 66 seconds.
His first fight since the USADA controls were brought into the UFC, and he looked better than ever. You could forgive Dos Anjos for feeling the pressure of his first title defence but he looked cool, calm and comfortable.
The Brazilian, who is noted for his jiu—jitsu rather than his stand up, came out and finished the striker in just over a minute- in short he ran through him like a hot knife through butter.
Dos Anjos targeted the body of Cerrone early and caught the American with a brutal knee in the first few seconds of the fight. A left kick to the mid-section buckled ‘Cowboy’ and a rain of punches sent him to the ground.
Cerrone tried hard to weather the storm, but the champion did not let up. He took the challenger down and continued the assault on the ground. Cerrone tried to cover up but it was not enough.
Once again Cowboy came up short, capping off a miserable week where his grandmother was declared terminally ill. We send our best wishes to the Cerrone family
Dos Anjos on the other hand celebrated with his wife and children after a successful world title defence. Now there are no doubts- he is the top Lightweight fighter in the world.
Analysis: Another quick main event but there is a whole lot more to look at than the 13 second main event of last week.
Cerrone is known as a slow starter so it was key for Dos Anjos to take advantage of that and establish early dominance. The early knee to the body did exactly that as it hurt the challenger and put him on the back foot.
The body kick is one of the Brazilian’s biggest weapons and he used to it to great effect here, hurting Cerrone and opening up a big right hand to stun the challenger-from there the champion continued his assault to earn a TKO stoppage.
A completely different performance from their first fight where Dos Anjos used effective wrestling and ground control to nullify his opponent. The 31 year old came out and won the stand-up contest, showing his diverse weaponry.
It is back into the line for Cerrone who will not likely earn another shot whilst Dos Anjos is champion. The Brazilian will likely face Khabib Nurmagomedov next unless Conor McGregor answers Dos Anjos’ challenge (BT Sport).
Overeem downs Dos Santos
Alistair Overeem has put himself in the Heavyweight title picture with a 2nd round TKO victory over Junior Dos Santos.
‘The Reem’ and ‘Cigano’ failed to engage in a first round feeling out process but a big left hook by the Dutchman in the second round sent the Brazilian to the mat. Dos Santos was ruled to not be in a fit state to continue and the fight was called off.
Analysis: Both fighters clearly had a lot of respect for each other’s striking ability and knockout power, hence the timid opening round.
However, Dos Santos did not look his usual self in there. He was a far cry from the fighter that knocked out Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez and was unusually timid. The one opportunity he was able to unload with his boxing with Overeem backed up against the cage, he let rip then… stopped.
Overeem is a world class striker and a former K1 world grand prix champion, and does not need an invitation to land a big shot. When the left hook connected the fight was done, no matter how much the Brazilian protested.
It was a calculated performance by Overeem, who after a series of knockout losses has re-invented himself into a smarter and better fighter. He might not be as exciting as before, but he is a much more tactical fighter and now a serious contender for the heavyweight crown.
Diaz defeats Johnson; calls out McGregor
Nate Diaz put in a great performance to defeat Michael Johnson in a heated Lightweight bout.
The Stockton native was crisp with his boxing and entertaining with his antics as he fought to a unanimous decision victory.
The pair had many heated moments prior to the fight and were constantly talking to each other during the contest. After the horn sounded for the end of the fight, Diaz put Johnson in a heel hook and posed which prompted Johnson to start kicking his opponent.
Post-fight, Diaz called out Featherweight champion McGregor using a number of explicit languages.
Analysis: A good fight from the younger Diaz brother after a year-long absence from the octagon. Johnson was able to land some big shots on occasion and looked threatening with leg kicks but ultimately the number 15 ranked lightweight found his range and out-boxed ‘The Menace’.
McGregor will not likely answer the post-fight challenge as the Irishman has nothing to gain from that fight but one thing is for sure- Nate Diaz is back.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (kick and punches) – Round 1, 1:06
Alistair Overeem def. Junior Dos Santos via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:43
Nate Diaz def. Michael Johnson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Randa Markos via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Charles Oliveira def. Myles Jury via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:05
Nate Marquardt def. C.B. Dollaway via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:28
Tamdan McCrory def. Josh Samman via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 4:10
Nik Lentz def. Danny Castillo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Jim Alers vs. Cole Miller – no contest (accidental eye poke)
Kamaru Usman def. Leon Edwards via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Vincente Luque def. Hayder Hassan via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 2:13
Francis Ngannou def. Luiz Henrique via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 2:53
The UFC returns on January 2nd for UFC 195: Lawler vs Condit
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