The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 27 saw American Donald Cerrone take on Brazilian Rafael dos Anjos in the lightweight division. It was a bout that many thought had the potential to take the Fight of the Night bonus check.
The first round saw dos Anjos hurt Cerrone on the feet before riding him out from top position at the end of the stanza. The second saw both men spend time on their backs. The final round Cerrone began to come alive, making the scorecards close.
When it was all said and done, dos Anjos took a unanimous decision. Here is what we learned from the fight.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
The fight in general. The fight had back-and-forth action and was quite entertaining.
I think the most memorable thing, though, was that Cerrone did not look like he had a sense of urgency. In a lot of his fights, he looks like a man possessed, but this fight was not one of those times. Ultimately, I think he had lackluster body language that led to a below-par performance.
What We Learned About dos Anjos
He has grown leaps and bounds in recent times. I remember when dos Anjos debuted and opened his UFC career 0-2. I thought this guy wouldn't be around much longer, but I sure was wrong.
The Brazilian is making an argument for being in the top 10 these days. He has gone from being a jiu-jitsu guy to a full mixed martial artist.
What We Learned About Cerrone
He is inconsistent. One night, Cerrone will show up looking like a championship contender. Other nights, he just doesn't look the part.
Cerrone will always be an exciting striker and dangerous grappler, but if you catch him on an off night, he is beatable. He needs to use his striking more aggressively moving forward to keep opponents off balance. That's when he snags the knockout (see Dennis Siver and Charles Oliveira fights).
What's Next for dos Anjos
He definitely deserves a top opponent. Maybe taking on a guy like Jim Miller would be a good setup for when more top-10 guys free up from their current fights. Giving him guys coming off of losses in the top 10 like Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz would not make sense yet. (Miller is coming off of a win and no contest).
What's Next for Cerrone
He needs to take a step back again. He made up for his Anthony Pettis loss by beating down KJ Noons. Now he has to make up for this shabby defeat. Perhaps taking on fellow loser and Fight Night bonus machine Joe Lauzon would make for an all-time classic.