There are very few performances in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA) that can equate to Rafael Dos Anjos' savage beatdown over the former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis last night (Sat., March 14, 2015) in the main event of the UFC 185 pay-per-view (PPV).
Check out the highlights here.
Let's get one thing straight: Dos Anjos wasn't "supposed" to win last night. The Brazilian -- who was utterly embarrassed by Khabib Nurmagomedov not even a year ago -- was meant to be another stepping stone for "Showtime" to become the next great superstar in MMA history alongside current stars Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones, and fading legends in Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
Rafael Dos Anjos had other plans.
After a five round beatdown that left absolutely no question who would be taking home the title long before the judges' scorecards were read, "RDA" proved once again that in MMA nothing is guaranteed.
Dos Anjos won in every department last night, brutalizing Pettis unlike we have ever seen before, exposes gaping holes in the former champ's game that could come back to haunt him in future affairs.
With the win still fresh in our minds, it is time to switch gears and conjure up images of who the Brazilian champion may face off against next -- when his mangled MCL is fully healed of course.
Remember how I mentioned Khabib Nurmagomedov before? Well, "The Eagle" likely would have been in "RDA's" place last evening had he never injured his ACL last year.
With the Sambo master set to return against the streaking Donald Cerrone at UFC 187, Nurmagomedov reminded everyone on Twitter that he is coming for UFC gold by the end of 2015.
Where are my all HATERS now??? I think now you know who is who!!!— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 15, 2015
Congrats @RdosAnjosMMA and whole Brazil with the belt. You really deserved it. Work on your your wrestling, I am coming for the belt!!!— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 15, 2015
Ultimately, Dos Anjos will be rematching either the Dagestani or American following their May showdown, but it will be interesting to see if anything changes the second time around.
As the aforementioned stated, Dos Anjos was badly beaten by the undefeated Khabib the first time around, but he more than handled Cerrone -- winning via unanimous decision -- only one fight prior to being mauled by the Dagestani.
Dos Anjos has wildly improved each time out, but can he stop the onslaught of wrestling from Nurmagomedov if the two men indeed lock horns once more? If "Cowboy" comes out victorious in May, can "RDA" stifle yet another eccentric striker en route to his first UFC title defense?
Only time will tell.
For complete results from UFC 185: "Pettis vs. Dos Anjos," including play-by-play updates, news, notes, highlights, and more click here.