Pasar al contenido principal
Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil prepares to fight Bryan Barberena in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Amway Center on December 03, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

Five Rafael Dos Anjos Fights To Watch Before UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos

Take A Look Back At The UFC Veteran’s Storied Career Before His Main Event Bout

Few fighters in history have had the sustained longevity and success in UFC that Rafael Dos Anjos has enjoyed over the last decade and a half.

UFC Fight Night: Luque vs RDA Full Fight Card Preview

Since making his UFC debut in 2008, Dos Anjos has made his mark on the sport as a lightweight champion who has taken down several other legends throughout his career. Before the 38-year-old Brazilian enters the Octagon in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos, let’s take a look back at five of his greatest fights.

Vs Anthony Pettis [UFC 185 - Watch On UFC FIGHT PASS]

Rafael dos Anjos of Brazil celebrates after defeating Anthony Pettis in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 185 event at the American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Rafael dos Anjos of Brazil celebrates after defeating Anthony Pettis in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 185 event at the American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

The fight that earned Dos Anjos his place in the UFC history books.

After seven years as a contender in the division, Dos Anjos finally got his title shot in 2015 in Dallas against Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 – and he certainly made the most of it. For five rounds, Dos Anjos absolutely dominated Pettis in every phase of the game, wearing him out with a barrage of short-range attacks, as well as connecting on takedowns at a high success rate.

Pre-Order UFC 292: Sterling vs O'Malley

The Brazilian won the fight by unanimous decision, earning the belt and causing one of the biggest upsets of the year by putting on a clinic against a fighter once seen as nearly untouchable.

Vs Donald Cerrone [UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cowboy 2 - Watch On UFC FIGHT PASS]

Rafael dos Anjos celebrates his TKO victory over Donald Cerrone in their UFC lightweight title bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Amway Center on December 19, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Rafael dos Anjos celebrates his TKO victory over Donald Cerrone in their UFC lightweight title bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Amway Center on December 19, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

While defeating Pettis is what got Dos Anjos his belt, his first title defense against Donald Cerrone is what cemented him as a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

In a rematch of a fight initially won by Dos Anjos in 2013, the Brazilian made quick work of the future Hall of Famer, taking him down and connecting on a series of rapid-fire punches to earn a TKO victory in only 66 seconds of action.

MORE FIGHT NIGHT: Fighters On The Rise

The victory earned Dos Anjos  Performance of the Night honors – which he shared with his opponent this coming Saturday, Vicente Luque, who defeated Hayder Hassan by anaconda choke.

Vs Nate Diaz [UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic - Watch On UFC FIGHT PASS]

Rafael dos Anjos (top) of Brazil punches the body of Nate Diaz in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the U.S. Airways Center on December 13, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Rafael dos Anjos (top) of Brazil punches the body of Nate Diaz in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the U.S. Airways Center on December 13, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Another bout with a fellow UFC star, this is the fight that set up Dos Anjos for his initial shot at the lightweight belt.

In the fight, Dos Anjos left no doubt as to whether or not he deserved a chance at the title. It was an all-around performance for Dos Anjos, who controlled the fight in striking, kicking, and grappling to earn a unanimous decision.

Order UFC 292: Sterling vs O'Malley

Diaz missed weight prior to this event, making the dominant performance all the more impressive.

Vs Tarec Saffiedine [UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Correia - Watch On UFC FIGHT PASS]

Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil punches Tarec Saffiedine of Belgium in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 17, 2017 in Singapore. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)
Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil punches Tarec Saffiedine of Belgium in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 17, 2017 in Singapore. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)

A longtime lightweight, dos Anjos made his UFC welterweight debut in 2017 against Tarec Saffiedine – and he entered the division with a bang.

Facing a fellow former champion in Singapore, a mix of takedowns, body shots, and headshots helped Dos Anjos wear down his opponent over three rounds and take home a unanimous decision victory.

Make Your Match: Build Your Dream Fight Card For A Chance To Win

While his welterweight move was not permanent, he did eventually earn a shot at the interim division belt before making the move back to lightweight in 2020.

Vs Benson Henderson [UFC Fight Night 49 - Watch On UFC FIGHT PASS]

Another headlining event against a former champion, Dos Anjos faced Benson Henderson in 2014 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and put on a show to remember for the fans.

It was a quick knockout victory for Dos Anjos, who connected on a flying knee followed by a left hook to stop the fight and earn the victory in just 2:32 of action – an impressive victory that went a long way towards the eventual title shot for Dos Anjos.

The win earned dos Anjos his first career Performance of the Night bonus and made him the first opponent to defeat Henderson by strikes.

UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on August 12, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass