Heading into UFC on FOX 13, No. 3-ranked lightweight contender Rafael dos Anjos had to know that a victory over Nate Diaz could potentially earn him a crack at UFC gold.
What resulted was easily the best performance of his career, as he annihilated the former No. 1 contender over 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory (read the full recap here). Although "RDA" could not finish Diaz, he absolutely beat the brakes off him on national television in front of arguably the largest audience he has ever competed for.
RDA shined as bright as he ever has when he needed to the most, and he will likely take on UFC champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis next as a result.
In a fight where Dana White noted that Dos Anjos should be "arrested for attempted murder" after such a hellacious beatdown, the UFC president could not find enough hyperbole to explain how impressed he was with the UFC veteran last evening.
Even at a loss for words, White managed to put together a sentence that was undoubtedly music to Dos Anjos' ears:
"Anthony Pettis talked to me today and said he's ready for whatever. As long as Dos Anjos comes out of this healthy, he's next. Anthony is ready now."
In Dos Anjos' post-fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the Octagon, the Brazilian begged UFC brass to give him the chance to fight for UFC gold, and it looks as if UFC will comply with his request.
For RDA, he simply found himself getting hot at the perfect time. In a year where the UFC champion only defended his title once, Dos Anjos rebounded from a crippling loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in April in order to reel off three monumental victories.
With Nurmagomedov still not fit to return following his knee surgery, Dos Anjos will leapfrog the undefeated Russian Sambo champion en route to a UFC title shot.
Now before you go on believing that RDA is undeserving of his shot at Anthony Pettis, remember the Brazilian is 8-1 in his last nine including victories over Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone, and more.
After six years inside UFC, it looks like RDA will finally get his chance to fight for UFC gold, and he could not be more deserving of his shot.
For complete UFC on FOX 13: "Dos Santos vs. Miocic" results, including play-by-play, and the latest storylines, click here.