clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 225 results from last night: Rafael dos Anjos vs Colby Covington fight recap

MMA: UFC 225-Dos Anjos vs Covington Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight contenders Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington collided last night (June 9, 2018) at UFC 225 inside the United Center in Chicago, Illinoise.

Dos Anjos left the Lightweight division on the heels of consecutive losses, a far cry from his then-recent title reign. Many expected that would be the end of “RDA” as a top contender, but a trio of dominant wins at 170 lbs. proved otherwise, and last night dos Anjos attempted to capture a second crown. A recent accusation of Covington is that he talked his way into a title shot, which is only partially true. Did Covington deserve this opportunity based on the strength of his wins? Certainly. Would he have received this fight if he didn’t make a fool of himself on Twitter and anger a large portion of fans? Definitely not ... just ask Kamaru Usman.

Covington opened the fight like a bat out of hell, swinging for hooks, jumping into a flying knee, then driving into a double leg takedown. Dos Anjos popped back up, but Covington clung to him in the clinch and continued to work. Dos Anjos bounced up from another slam to escape back to the center.

Undeterred, Covington continued to grind his way forward. Dos Anjos would land a hard strike on the way in, but Covington answered with hard punches and more forward pressure into the clinch. The two exchanged at a wild rate, and both men landed a ton of damaging shots. Dos Anjos did his best work with body shots, whereas Covington landed some hard clinch elbows and low kicks.

It was a very competitive round.

Covington opened the second with a hard kick and another brief takedown. Dos Anjos did a better job of separating in this round, spending less time with his back on the fence. In the open, Covington continued to walk forward, kick, slip and return. On the other hand, dos Anjos did rip some brutal body kicks and right hooks to the mid-section. Somehow, Covington just kept pushing forward and answering in a higher volume.

Covington secured a solid takedown and back mount in the final minute of the round.

Surprising no one, Covington drove dos Anjos back into the fence immediately to start the round. When dos Anjos separated, the first signs of desperation were showing: “RDA” seemed to really be looking for one huge power shot. In addition, dos Anjos would relax a bit in the clinch. Not for long, but enough that 20 or 30 seconds would pass with Covington in control of the position.

Covington finished the round with nearly a full minute of brief takedowns and clinch control.

Dos Anjos opened the fourth round with a second wind and big left hand, moving well. When the fence denied Covington’s knee pick, dos Anjos turned the tables with a double leg of his own. Covington popped up briefly before being put on his back once more.

Covington broke free with two minute remaining and returned to the offensive. Strategically, it was more of the same, as Covington kicked to close the distance and weaved into punches. Covington really ramped up his aggression and put hands on dos Anjos, finishing a takedown and ending the round in top position.

Covington seemed to have an edge, but nothing was fully decided with five minutes remaining.

It took about five seconds for Covington to punch his way into the clinch body lock. “Chaos” was relentless in clinching to dos Anjos, who wasn’t able to create any separation until the 2:30 mark, and even then, it didn’t last for more than seconds. “RDA” broke away again a few seconds later and landed some decent shots. He tired to parlay that success into a takedown, but this time Covington was aware, defending the shot and reversing dos Anjos back into the fence. Covington scored a very momentary takedown, and the two brawled almost until the final bell.

His relentless aggression and pace earned him the unanimous decision win.

People really, really want Covington to be mediocre. The problem is that he’s an All-American wrestler with tricky kickboxing and a ridiculously deep gas tank. More than simple cardio, Covington is absurdly mentally tough. There were numerous Diaz brother comparisons, and that is accurate on some level. Covington keeps the suffocating pressure on with slapping strikes and sneaky power, but he also mixes in endless takedowns.

Covington is a very sticky fighter. Once he gets his foe’s butt to the mat, he hangs on the body lock. Even when fighters defend properly, the result is at least 60 seconds of time off the clock and plenty of energy wasted. “RDA” did a great job defending that position, and he still probably spent a full round stuck there.

Covington vs. Woodley is next, and I cannot wait to see if Woodley can remotely match his pace.

As for dos Anjos, he did some very smart things. Namely, he attacked the body ruthlessly and responded to pressure with counter takedowns, a pair of smart strategies against any pressure fighter. Ultimately though, dos Anjos was never able to find success consistently enough, which makes it very difficult to win rounds.

It was a rough style match up for “RDA,” and that’s often the difference maker between elite fighters.

Last night, Colby Covington out-wrestled Rafael dos Anjos to a unanimous decision victory. Will Covington unify the titles?

For complete UFC 225: “Whittaker vs. Romero 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania