UFC Fight Night 152: Raphael Dos Anjos turns back time to submit Kevin Lee in a war
Raphael Dos Anjos has been grinding away in the UFC for the past 10 years and is now getting his due as an all-out action fighter with enough smarts to cause young contenders a lot of problems.
At 34 years old, Dos Anjos has seen the highs and low of MMA, firsthand. From winning the UFC lightweight championship in a one-sided beatdown of Anthony Pettis to his eventual fall at the hands of Eddie Alvarez, the Brazilian has been through the ringer. Even his move up to welterweight was a met with a bit of doubt. But, he proved himself by submitting, knocking out and smashing welterweight elites. That was until he met two of the most talented fighters in the division in Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman.
So, when he was tapped to welcome the surging Kevin Lee into the welterweight divison, pundits had already written him off. After all, Lee was a powerful wrestler with good hands and vicious finishing ability. The guy had championship material written all over him, until the massive weight cut to lightweight caused him to fatigue and be outpointed in a few important battles. Still the move up to welterweight would have at least fixed his cardio problems, right? Well, not as much as you’d think.
As soon as the fight started, Lee pushed a blistering pace on Dos Anjos. He dove in with takedowns, was aggressive in the clinch and looked to be on his way to a lop-sided victory. But, after 3 rounds of grinding Dos Anjos out, he suddenly lost steam. That nightmare that plagued him throughout his most important fights now reared its ugly head once again. Dos Anjos, on the other hand, is a cardio machine. The man has fought a number of 5 round fights and is used to the gruelling pace a championship fight takes out of a fighter.
The 4th round began and one could see Lee fading. He leapt in with one last ditch effort to take the Brazilian down but it was not to be. He slumped down in a defeated heap and within a few seconds Raphael was punching his head in. Lee gave up dominant position and panicked. That was the opening Dos Anjos needed to sink in an arm-triangle choke. Kevin Lee tried everything in his power to escape, but he has one of the best black belts in the UFC choking him and was forced to relent and tap out.
This puts Dos Anjos in the top 5 of the welterweight division and it looks like the Brazilian intends to stay there for some time.