Rafael dos Anjos Puts On Five Round Clinic to Beat Robbie Lawler, Wants Tyron Woodley Next

Rafael dos Anjos wants his welterweight title shot after beating Robbie Lawler

Rafael dos Anjos made a strong case to earn the next shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley with his win over Robbie Lawler on Saturday night.

In only his third fight since moving to 170 pounds, dos Anjos put on a five round clinic to dismantle Lawler over the course of 25 minutes while picking up a win that undoubtedly puts him close to the title shot.

Dos Anjos was patient in the early going by avoiding Lawler’s biggest punches with constant movement and then firing away at the lead leg with a barrage of kicks.

Those shots added up over the course of the fight with Lawler’s right leg transforming into an eggplant thanks to the constant punishment he was absorbing thanks to dos Anjos’ unrelenting pressure.

As the fight wore on, Lawler actually complained to his corner about his left leg also giving him problems, perhaps from the movement required to stay away from dos Anjos absolutely punishing his right over the course of the fight.

Perhaps the best sequence all fight came when dos Anjos caught Lawler with a shot that backed him up to the cage and the Brazilian saw an opening to go for the finish so he opened up with a flurry of punches that absolutely battered his opponent to the head and body.

Over the course of 23 seconds, dos Anjos managed to land 48 punches but to his credit Lawler never blinked and when the exchange finally ended he just smiled back before they reset in center of the Octagon.

Unfortunately while Lawler survived that machine gun like fire from dos Anjos, he was never able to really put any offense together, especially as each round bled into the next. With each passing minute, dos Anjos took even more control of the fight, pressuring Lawler against the cage and then just battering him with punches and knees on the inside.

It was a masterful outing for dos Anjos, who looked better than ever as he punished Lawler over all five rounds. When the fight was finished, dos Anjos had landed 172 significant strikes with Lawler only countering with 86 of his own.

The judges all agreed that dos Anjos did more than enough to win with all three scorecards reading 50-45 for the former lightweight champion.

Now 3-0 in the UFC welterweight division, dos Anjos believes he’s done more than enough to warrant a title shot against Woodley, although he might be waiting for a while as the reigning 170-pound king is about to undergo shoulder surgery that will keep him out of action for at least a few months.

“On my opinion, I just beat the toughest guy in the division,” dos Anjos said. “I think I did enough tonight to deserve that title shot and I’m sure I’ll get that belt.”

As for Lawler, he’s now gone 1-2 in his past three fights with losses to the current champion in Woodley as well as dos Anjos. Of course, Lawler showed incredible toughness and durability over five rounds, but now he’ll have to climb back up the ladder again if he hopes to get another shot at the welterweight title in the future.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.