The MMA world was already buzzing about Rafael dos Anjos’s clear cut, decision victory over Anthony Pettis last night, and then he took it up a notch, by reporting he did so with an injured knee…
Yes, after dos Anjos outgunned and outgrappled Pettis to become lightweight champ at UFC 185, the 30 year-old reported that he injured his MCL a couple of weeks ago. How about that? Here is some of what the new champ had to say about the injury while speaking to the media (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“This was the first time I had a knee injury. I couldn’t grapple. I couldn’t (train) wrestling since that. If you guys noticed, I didn’t kick during the open workouts. I didn’t kick because I was already dehydrated and I didn’t want my injury to get worse.”
“But (in the fight) everything went perfectly.”
Dos Anjos took some heavy shots from Pettis in the bout, so it wasn’t like it was a shut-out, but yeah, it was a masterful performance. Dos Anjos also said he doesn’t believe he’s going to need surgery for the injury, but that he’ll know more after he meets with his doctors and undergoes an MRI.
Since the new champ is expected to face the winner of the May 23rd, Donald Cerrone-Khabib Nurmagomedov scrap, dos Anjos has some time to heal up. In theory, he might not be called on to fight again until after summertime, so that gives dos Anjos six months or so. UFC President Dana White also told the media that he believes dos Anjos will be on track to face the winner of Cerrone-Nurmagomedov.
With last night’s win, dos Anjos moved his winning streak to four, and the only man who has defeated him since 2011 is Nurmagomedov. The latter worked his way to a unanimous decision win over dos Anjos last April, and that victory looks that much more impressive now, considering what we saw last night.
It should also be noted that immediately after Saturday’s headliner, Pettis reported he couldn’t see out of his right eye for much of the fight, after he took a big shot there in round one.
UFC 185 went down at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.