Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
MONTREAL -- Slowly but surely, Rafael dos Anjos has mounted a march towards contendership in the UFC's lightweight division. He took a major step towards that goal at UFC 154, beating the gritty veteran Mark Bocek in a unanimous decision.
dos Anjos stuffed multiple takedown attempts and scored several of his own, bloodying Bocek's face en route to a unanimous decision by a trio of 30-27 scores.
The fight wasn't an action classic, but dos Anjos refused to let Bocek use his grinding style against him, and won the positioning battles both against the cage and on the mat. dos Anjos carefully picked his spots on the ground, occasionally landing a power punch while watching out for ground attacks and sweep attempts.
Bocek could never really mount any successful offense, and he left with a mouse under his eye in addition to multiple cuts.
It was the third straight win for dos Anjos, whose only losses in the last three years have come from a disputed split-decision against Gleison Tibau and an injury loss against Clay Guida in which he was winning before suffering a jaw injury in the third round.
He's now 17-6 overall while Bocek had his own two-fight win streak snapped, falling to 11-5.
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