Rafael dos Anjos needed just 66 seconds to end Donald Cerrone’s hopes of winning the UFC lightweight belt at UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando, Florida.
Dos Anjos used much of the same striking he used to win the belt from Anthony Pettis, nailing him with a left body kick that hurt Cerrone. The Cowboy valiantly tried to weather the storm, but dos Anjos followed up with a bevy of strikes against the cage that forced referee Herb Dean to stop the fight.
Dos Anjos in the post-fight interview served notice to featherweight champ Conor McGregor that he’s ready to defend his belt against him and all comers.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Nate Diaz and Michael Johnson earned Fight-of-the-Night while dos Anjos and Vincente Luque earned performances-of-the-night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in:
RANDA MARKOS VS KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ
WINNER: KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: RANDA MARKOS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: The story of the fight was the grappling of Markos. She was loaded up on her right, throw combinations, and positioned herself in the clinch game. She controlled the fight in the clinch, got takedowns and back control for most of the second round, and showed dominance. Kowalkiewicz came on strong in the final round, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to get the decision to swing her way.
Well, that’s not how it went. This is how it should have gone, but ultimately the judges based the entire fight on the final round. Kowalkiewicz got the unanimous decision win…somehow.
#6 MICHAEL JOHNSON VS #15 NATE DIAZ
WINNER: NATE DIAZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: NATE DIAZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: What I had said was that the unpredictable style of Johnson would give Diaz problems. What happened in the fight? Johnson fought Diaz’s fight, he became predictable. He basically doomed himself. The reach advantage and boxing of Diaz was a problem of course, but the fact that Johnson didn’t shoot for takedowns, only stood in front of Diaz, I mean come on. He just played the game Diaz needed here tonight. Diaz was also on point and looked his best, lets not take anything away from the skills that Diaz showed tonight. However, if Johnson fought like he usually does, the fight would have been different.
#2 JUNIOR DOS SANTOS VS #9 ALISTAIR OVEREEM
WINNER: ALISTAIR OVEREEM VIA TKO R2 4:43
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ALISTAIR OVEREEM VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: This was the lowest striking fight, probably ever. These guys were both being very cautious of the power each possessed. However, in the second round it was Overeem who was opening up with more strikes, cut JDS open, and rocked him to get the finish. JDS has taken way too much damage. I think it’s in his best interest that someone tell him to hang up the gloves. He will have zero brain cells left going at the rate he is going. Great TKO finish for Overeem.
(C) RAFAEL DOS ANJOSVS #2 DONALD CERRONE
WINNER: RAFAEL DOS ANJOS VIA TKO R1 1:06
WISEMAN PREDICTION: RAFAEL DOS ANJOS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: His left kick and his straight left were really what started the problems. Cerrone was hurt, he was curled up, but dos Anjos didn’t give him time to recover. Just a beast here tonight against a solid fighter in Cerrone. I personally wanted Cerrone to win for his grandmother, but Dos Santos showed tonight that he needs to be taken seriously.