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TUF 28 Finale results: Kamaru Usman takes dominant decision over Rafael dos Anjos

Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman (pictured) won his ninth straight UFC bout with a dominant performance against Rafael dos Anjos at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in Las Vegas on Friday
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Make it nine in a row for Kamaru Usman.

“The Nigerian Nightmare” won a clear-cut unanimous decision over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in the welterweight main event of The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale on Friday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. It was the ninth consecutive UFC win for Usman, who is unbeaten since winning TUF 21 back in July 2015.

Unsurprisingly, Usman’s size, conditioning, and wrestling ability proved to be the difference makers against dos Anjos. His crisp jab was good enough to keep RDA from getting his own striking off early and it wasn’t long before he closed the distance and slammed dos Anjos to the mat. Dos Anjos made Usman pay for his grappling with short strikes, but it wasn’t enough to deter Usman from keeping dos Anjos pinned against the cage and scoring takedown after takedown as the fight progressed.

Usman spent large portions of rounds two and three in top position, scoring points with ground-and-pound while avoiding dos Anjos’s deft submission attempts. At one point, dos Anjos used a kimura to force Usman to give up position, but significant offensive moments were few and far between for the Brazilian star.

The takedowns materialized much easier for Usman in rounds four and five. Usman was all over dos Anjos, constantly looking to advance position and pummel dos Anjos with punches and elbows. If the first three rounds were close, the last two ensured that Usman would be leaving Las Vegas with a decision win. The judges agreed, awarding Usman with scores of 50-43, 49-45, and 48-47.

He took to the microphone after to declare that he wants a shot at the welterweight title.

“I’m a man on a mission. I got into this sport and I made a statement,” Usman said. “I’m coming for that welterweight strap and tonight I hope I took a step closer towards that.”

Usman’s pro record now stands at a lofty 14-1, with his last loss coming in his second fight over five years ago. He hands dos Anjos (28-11) his second consecutive loss after “RDA” started off 3-0 at welterweight.

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