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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Rafael dos Anjos after knockout loss at UFC Vegas 58?

UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos v Fiziev Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 58 went down this past weekend (Sat., July 9, 2022) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a thrilling night of fights that left several combatants feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Jared Vanderaa, who suffered a devastating knockout loss at the hands of Chase Sherman (see it here).

And Karl Roberson, who suffered his fourth straight defeat inside the Octagon after getting knocked out by Kennedy Nzechukwu (highlights). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Rafael dos Anjos.

After a couple of cancelations, “RDA” finally got his chance to put hands on Rafael Fiziev, one of the best strikers at 155 pounds. A win over “Ataman” would’ve catapulted dos Anjos into the Top 5 and closer to a championship fight.

For 20 minutes, the two talented Lightweight contenders went toe-to-toe in a very tight match up. Both men had their shining moments and while it seemed as if Fiziev was getting the better of the exchanges on the feet, “RDA” looked like the much fresher fighter going into the fifth and final round. Then “Ataman” came out with some renewed intensity in the opening moments, pushing the pace and taking it to the former 155-pound champion.

During an exchange, Fiziev tagged dos Anjos with a clean shot that sent him crashing to the canvas in a daze. Immediately, “Ataman” pounced and landed a clean follow-up blow on the ex-champion, which prompted the official on duty to put an end to the action.

While many fans felt the stoppage was a bit premature, the ever-so-classy dos Anjos wasn’t putting up excuses for the defeat.

“I don’t think so,” dos Anjos said. “I’ve got to rewatch the tape, but ... I don’t think so. He won fair and square. I’ve got to rewatch it, and I was kinda still dizzy. But yeah it was a tough fight. Rafael was a tough opponent. I trained very hard for that fight, and I was really feeling I had my momentum. But, that’s the game.

“The fight was pretty close leading up to the fifth,” he continued. “I think I was probably a little bit ahead of him. But yeah, that’s the game ... I got caught, unfortunately.”

Despite the loss, dos Anjos will still hang on to a spot in the Top 10, which means a fighter of his caliber can get right back into the mix with two or three impressive outings. As far as what’s next for the Brazilian bomber, perhaps a rematch against Tony Ferguson is in order.

The two men initially threw down six years ago at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Latin America Finale in Mexico City. “El Cucuy” came out on top with a unanimous decision win. so it’s a fight dos Anjos would like to get back. Ferguson (No. 9) has been in a bit of a slump as of late, losing four straight — including this devastating knockout loss — so he isn’t really in the position to be turning down many fight offers or making special requests.


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