Rafael dos Anjos Against Robbie Lawler UFC On Fox
It’s the former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos versus the former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler. As the Brazilian Dos Anjos continues his journey at the 170 lb limit. On December 16 2017, he came up against one of the original fighters still doing it today at UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. dos Anjos.
With Robbie having lost his championship to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201. Bouncing back with a decisive win over Donald Cerrone and now looking to continue his good fortune by defeating the former 155 lb champ. And with Lawler entering the fight as the bigger man, with tonnes of experience at the weight. It was up to him to prove that he had the goods to regain the welterweight title.
But Dos Anjos was here to win the fight and win it convincingly. And from the beginning, we began to see how he would go about achieving his goal. With Lawler very much having a boxing based style. Rafael set about working his lead leg with kicks in order to slow him down.
Using his own boxing and good head movement. Dos Anjos began to probe Robbie’s defence, finding the kinks in his armour and in the process landing some telling shots. And it was his hand speed which would mark the difference between the pair. Something which we could see began to frustrate Robbie as he pressed forward, often with reckless abandonment.
But the gameplan of dos Anjos appeared to focus on taking his opponent apart piece by piece. Never overcommitting and staying focused, even when under the inevitable and unrelenting Ruthless pressure.
Rafael dos Anjos Gaining Momentum
And as the fight progressed, so did the ferocity of Lawler. With Rafael seemingly always gaining in momentum. He continued to stay sharp and land the right strikes to constantly keep Robbie guessing. And for Lawler who is used to being the one to often blow through opponents. A fight round battle where he was on the back foot did not work in his favour.
Going into the third round we could see Lawler begin to try and regain some control. But it was dos Anjos who was able to get Robbie to the ground and exact some punishment from the top. Forcing the bigger man to work from the bottom and most likely swinging the round back in his favour.
And into the fourth, it did appear that Robbie had at some point damaged his leg. Looking like he was struggling in the standup, Rafael went on the attack. As he once again got the now fading Lawler to the ground. And this was the story for the remainder of the fight as the former 170 lb champion now looked out of it.
It was the consistent pressure and low kicks of dos Anjos which were the deciding factor. Cruising towards the final bell, it would be the Brazilian who would move on to his next potential challenge in the driver seat. Whether that be a title shot against the reigning champion Tyron Woodley. Or a top contender fight against a top-five opponent?
After the performance, there can be little doubting what the former lightweight champion can produce at the higher weight class. Always busy and seemingly unphased when dealing with bigger guys. Going forward he may very well be a huge threat to the division’s top fighters.
Whether he has what it take sot go all the way to the top has yet to be decided. But going on what we have seen in this performance, no one should underestimate his chances.