Rafael dos Anjos and Paul Felder face off tonight (Sat., Nov. 14, 2020) in a main event Lightweight clash from UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada at UFC Vegas 14. This event has suffered one whirlwind of a week, as Islam Makhachev fell out of the main event slot less than a week ago, leaving dos Anjos without a dance partner. Felder stepped up to the plate, jumping on the opportunity to return from his semi-retirement and attempt to break into the title mix.
Both men fought hard for the entirety of 25 minutes. However, dos Anjos’ pressure and wrestling proved too much particularly on short-notice. Felder was slowly worn down, allowing the Brazilian to really pull away in the second half of the fight with his top control.
These two are trading shots quickly, as neither man is wanting to back off. “RDA” hits a hard body kick, absorbs some counter shots. Felder really looking to fire back with elbows, and he kicks the body himself. Felder firing his straight down the center nicely, but dos Anjos switches it up with a successful double leg takedown. Felder scoots his back to the fence, but dos Anjos sticks tight to him. Felder stands, and “RDA” attacks the standing arm triangle. Felder escapes and lands an uppercut. Lead hand uppercut-cross lands for Felder, but dos Anjos lands right back with a left of his own. Felder finds a home for another right. Dos Anjos scores with a slick combination, then the two clash heads. “RDA” snaps his foe down with a front head lock briefly then scores with an elbow. The Brazilian lands a heavy left to end the round.
Dos Anjos sticks an early jab nicely. “RDA” takes a shot, lands an elbow. Felder digs a calf kick, then scores with an elbow at distance. Felder sticks a 1-2, stuffs a takedown. The two trade clean elbows on the break. Counter right from Felder. Dos Anjos advances behind a left hook, but Felder cracks him in return with a couple punches. Big body shot rip from “RDA.” The Brazilian attempts another double, which leads to a successful trip. Felder’s back is to the cage, however, and he’s able to inch his way back up. The two separate just before the bell, and dos Anjos lands another clean left at the bell.
Low kicks are traded to open the third round. “RDA” grabs the double-collar tie, fires a knee, then ducks into a shot. Felder stuffs it and reverses position along the cage. Felder scores an elbow over the top, but dos Anjos gets him down again. After a struggle, dos Anjos yanks Felder off the fence. When he moves to take the back, however, Felder stands back up. Felder scores a couple small elbows and a good knee. Dos Anjos scores a left in return, keeping his foe trapped on the fence with his pressure. High-amplitude slam from dos Anjos! The Brazilian finishes the round on top.
Felder aggressive early, lands a crisp right hand counter. Felder stuffs a takedown and is firing quick punches. Felder scores with an uppercut. “RDA” rips a liver kick. One more. Dos Anjos sticks a jab then times the double beautifully, though he’s unable to finish the shot along the fence. The Brazilian scores an elbow over the top and drops back down onto the double. Felder defends well, but he’s stuck on the fence. The two are head-fighting in the clinch, but time is ticking away for Felder. Good knee for “The Irish Dragon,” and the two separate with a minute remaining. Big left hand swing lands solid for Felder. Felder hits a double leg! Dos Anjos stuffs the head and escapes before the bell.
Felder opens the final frame with a clean left, then the two trade hard kicks. Felder stuffs a takedown. Felder lands a step knee. Felder is bleeding everywhere, and he’s jammed back into the fence. “RDA” breaks with a clinch, ducks right back into the double leg and finishes by transitioning into the single leg dump. Felder is flat on his back in half guard. “RDA” is hunting for the arm triangle, but Felder resists the strangle. Dos Anjos passes to north-south, begins looking to isolate an arm. Felder moves to his knees and is trying to stand from the front head lock position. He does, but there’s just a minute remaining. Felder is unable to make the impossible happen, as dos Anjos puts him down one last time before the bell.
Result: Rafael dos Anjos defeats Paul Felder via split-decision (50-45, 50-45, 47-48)
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