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UFC 185 results: Rafael dos Anjos stuns Anthony Pettis to win lightweight title

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Brazil's Rafael dos Anjos was practically an afterthought heading into his title challenge against UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis on Saturday night in Dallas.

Nevermind that dos Anjos had won eight of his past nine fights, including a knockout victory over former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson.

No, all the talk heading in was about Pettis and whether he was on his way to consideration for the top pound-for-pound spot.

At UFC 185, dos Anjos provided yet another reminder of why mixed martial arts is the most unpredictable of sports. Dos Anjos stunned the MMA world by dominating Pettis from bell to bell.

The Rafael Cordeiro-trained fighter won the title shocking fashion, taking the belt on across-the-board scores of 50-45.

More Coverage: UFC 185 Results | UFC news
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"I knew I was going to win before this fight happened," dos Anjos said. "I'm an MMA fighter. I'm a striker. I'm a jiu-jitsu black belt. I work hard on my wrestling. MMA fights, I'm the best in the world."

Dos Anjos (24-7) surprised Pettis with his hand speed, cracking him with crisps lefts and rights. The challenger took a page out of the playbook of Clay Guida, who had handed Pettis his only previous UFC defeat, by staying in his face and pressuring him throughout the fight.

The challenger was relentless in his pursuit, mixing up his strikes, closing the distance, outgrappling Pettis, and taking him to the ground at will. As the rounds wore on, Pettis never seemed to have an answer.

In the fourth, dos Anjos got Pettis into deep trouble with a Kimura, but the champ powered out. After the round, Pettis told trainer Duke Roufus he couldn't see out of his right eye.

Pettis needed a finish in round five, but there was no Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen 1 moment on tap, as RDA fought a disciplined round and sealed the fight.

With the victory, dos Anjos become the 11th Brazilian champion in UFC history, and the first Brazilian lightweight champ.

It was an amazing turn of events for a fighter who lost his first two UFC fights when he debuted in the company in 2008.

"I come from the bottom, I couldn't imagine in my whole life being here in the main event and becoming the new champion," dos Anjos said.

For his part, Pettis made no excuses for his defeat.

"He caught me with a left hand in the first round, first punch he threw in the fight, I couldn't see the rest of the fight. No excuses, I'm going back to work.."

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