Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has spoken out following his late-round TKO loss to Rafael Fiziev at UFC Vegas 58.
Dos Anjos and Fiziev had a back-and-forth battle in their UFC Vegas 58 headliner. Fiziev eventually caught dos Anjos with a big left hook in the fifth round that proved to be the beginning of the end for the former champion.
dos Anjos looked back in supreme form in his last win over Renato Moicano at UFC 272. But he’ll have to get a few more wins on his résumé now to get back in the lightweight title picture.
Despite the disappointing loss to Fiziev, dos Anjos handled defeat with grace and seems optimistic about his fighting future.
Rafael dos Anjos Dismisses Stoppage Debate After UFC Vegas 58
During the UFC Vegas 58 post-fight show, dos Anjos gave his immediate reaction to the loss to Fiziev.
“I think I was going to the fifth, I was like, ‘I have to put the pressure,’ like my style,” dos Anjos said. “I thought he was tired, but he’s dangerous. He’s got heavy hands, and I should have been more careful at the beginning of the round.
“He’s a tough dude. I didn’t expect any less from him. I knew guys from east Europe, they’re always tough and I knew it would be a hard fight. Actually, his takedown defense impressed me a little bit, but I got him down in the fourth [round], hit him with the flying knee, too.” (h/t MMA Fighting)
Immediately following the fight, some fans and pundits argued that the TKO stoppage was a bit premature, but dos Anjos disagrees.
“I don’t think so,” dos Anjos said when asked if he felt the stoppage wasn’t correct. “I’ve got to rewatch the tape, but I don’t think so. He won fair and square.
“I’ve got to rewatch it, and I was kind of still dizzy, but yeah it was a tough fight. Rafael was a tough opponent. I trained very hard for that fight, and I was really feeling I had my momentum, but that’s the game.”
dos Anjos also took to Twitter to congratulate Fiziev on his performance.
“Congrats [Rafael Fiziev] great win,” dos Anjos tweeted. “It was a fun one…you caught me good on that one. Enjoy your victory.”
dos Anjos returned to lightweight following an up-and-down tenure at welterweight which featured fights against Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Leon Edwards. He earned the lightweight title earlier in his career by defeating Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 before successfully defending the belt against Donald Cerrone.
Despite being 37 years old, dos Anjos still appears in great physical condition and will look to get back on track in his next Octagon appearance.
Were you surprised by how Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev played out?