Rafael Souza dos Anjos, born October 26, 1984, is a Brazilian mixed martial artist competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division and is the former UFC Lightweight Champion. He is currently ranked #2 in the welterweight division.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Dos Anjos made his UFC debut at UFC 91, losing to Jeremy Stephens. The fight was stopped in the third round after an uppercut knocked out dos Anjos.
For his second UFC fight, dos Anjos was next given Tyson Griffin at UFC Fight Night 18. The fight was a back-and-forth battle that showcased heart, skill, and technique from both fighters but ended in a unanimous decision loss for dos Anjos. The bout was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
He then defeated Kyle Bradley via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 20.
At UFC 112, dos Anjos defeated Terry Etim via second round armbar submission, earning him Submission of the Night honors.
Dos Anjos faced Clay Guida on August 7, 2010 at UFC 117 and was defeated by submission.
He next fought George Sotiropoulos on July 2, 2011 at UFC 132, knocking out Sotiropoulos cold in the first round with a right hand.
he then faced Kamal Shalorus on May 15, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier and submitted him via rear-naked choke in the first round.
After taking virtually no damage in the fight against Shalorus, dos Anjos quickly returned to face Anthony Njokuani on July 11, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman, replacing an injured Paul Taylor. He won the fight via unanimous decision, dominating Njokuani both in striking and grappling.
Dos Anjos next faced Evan Dunham on May 18, 2013 at UFC on FX 8. He won the fight via unanimous decision. However, there was some controversy, as 10 out of 10 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Dunham.
Dos Anjos faced Donald Cerrone on August 28, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 27 and won via unanimous decision.
Dos Anjos faced Khabib Nurmagomedov on April 19, 2014 at UFC on Fox 11 and lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Dos Anjos headlined UFC Fight Night 49 against Benson Henderson on August 23, 2014. He won the fight via knockout in the first round after dropping Henderson with a flying knee and rendering him unconscious with a follow-up left hook. The win also earned him his first Performance of the Night bonus award and made him the only man to stop Henderson by strikes.
UFC Lightweight Championship
Dos Anjos faced Anthony Pettis for the UFC Lightweight Championship on March 14, 2015 at UFC 185. Dos Anjos won the bout via unanimous decision in a dominant fashion, earning him the UFC Lightweight Championship. After the fight, dos Anjos revealed that he had torn his MCL only a few weeks before the bout. The win once again earned him a Performance of the Night bonus award.
Dos Anjos was expected to face Conor McGregor on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196 for his second title defense of the lightweight belt. However, it was announced on February 23 that dos Anjos had been forced out of the fight after breaking his foot during training.
Dos Anjos next faced Tony Ferguson on November 5, 2016 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance.
Move up to welterweight
Dos Anjos faced Tarec Saffiedine, former Strikeforce title holder, in a welterweight bout on June 17, 2017 at UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Correia. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
He then faced Robbie Lawler on December 16, 2017 in the main event at UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. dos Anjos. Dos Anjos’ fight plan relied heavily on low leg kicks and constant combos consisting of body shots and leg kicks. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
Dos Anjos is scheduled to face Colby Covington on June 9, 2018 UFC 225 for UFC interim Welterweight Championship.