Although the UFC on FX 8: "Belfort vs. Rockhold" event tonight (Sat., May 18, 2013) at Arena Jagaura in Jagaura do Sul, Brazil, wasn't loaded with name value or particularly high stakes in any of the bouts on the main card, the powers that be did smartly book a lightweight showdown between Rafael dos Anjos and Evan Dunham.
Everyone was expecting war, and that's precisely what the two came to deliver.
Dos Anjos worked much faster than Dunham throughout much of the opening round but Dunham went for the old "late takedown for the win" strategy to steal the necessary points to get ahead going into the second.
They battled early there, with Dunham forgoing striking at all in favor of a quick takedown, though he couldn't keep his Brazilian foe down for long. After they reset, it was dos Anjos who went for a takedown. He couldn't get it but it sent the intended message.
The ensuing exchanges were brutal. Both fighters started swinging for the fences and Dunham's work yielded a cut next to dos Anjos' eye -- it may have also come by way of headbutt -- though the harder and more efficient punches may have been coming from the other direction.
Needless to say, it was close heading to the final frame.
The commentary team was leaning hard on Dunham having the advantage but it certainly loked as though both guys were landing hard and clean throughout the final five minutes. The judges did not have an easy decision on their hands.
In the end, they came down in favor of dos Anjos by scores of 29-28 across the board.
For complete UFC on FX 8 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.