It was a rude welcome that Brazil's Rafael Dos Anjos rolled out for Jason High in his lightweight debut. The perennial contender Dos Anjos rebounded from his loss to Khabin Nurmagomedov by scoring an impressive TKO victory over the wrestler, High. The end came at 3:36 of round two.
It was an entertaining first round.
A minute in, the 32-year old High went to work wrestling, scooping up Dos Anjos and slamming him to the canvas not once, but twice. Dos Anjos attempted a counter guillotine on the second attempt, but couldn't get it. He then went for a Kimura, but High proved too strong. A few moments later, Dos Anjos went for another Kimura, and High's arm was torqued at an ugly angle, but High rolled out. Dos Anjos, whose striking was much improved overall, landed a couple of body shots that stung. Late in the round, he landed a nice high-low combination and scored a takedown of his own, going to work once on the ground for a Kimura.
Dos Anjos began to take control of the first in the second, and he was more than willing to stand and trade. The 29-year old Dos Anjos was winning the exchanges (including one where he inadvertently poked High in the eye), and at moments smothered the "Kansas City Bandit" on the fence.
The beginning of the end happened when landed a one-two combination, dropping a huge right hand down on High. He pounced and landed a series of shots on the ground before the referee stopped the fight.
"I feel really good," he told Jon Anik in the post-fight interview. "I got here two weeks ago to try and acclimate to the altitude, but it's still difficult, and I had a hard time to breathe."
As for his improved striking, Dos Anjos said it's a work in progress.
"I always try to be better every time with all my weaknesses in the sport," he said. "My background is jiu-jitsu, and I am for sure going to try to be a better wrestler, a better muay Thai fighter. and always put on a good show for you guys."
When asked who he would like to face next, Dos Anjos showed he has a humorous side.
"Yeah, I have an idea, I'm here to fight against the best," he said. "If Cain Velasquez can step on the scale and make 155, I will fight him. I don't choose my opponents, I'll fight anyone."
Dos Anjos improves to 21-7, while High drops to 18-5.