Rafael dos Anjos worked his way back into the win column with a fourth-round submission victory over Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC Fight Night 152 from Rochester, New York, on Saturday.
The two got right to work from the outset exchanging heavy kicks to the body, head and legs before Lee secured a knockdown. However, RDA demonstrated his own grappling chops in working his way back to the feet.
Dos Anjos continued to put his stamp on the round with a head kick that rocked Lee and some time in top position of his own.
The second round continued to be a close affair with the two taking turns in the spotlight with their grappling ability. Lee proved his slam abilities were just as good as they were at lightweight with an impressive slam, while the Brazilian had some moments in the stand-up game.
Lee's takedown defense is something that proved to be different at 170 pounds. Dos Anjos had unprecedented success in bringing Lee to the ground:
The fight was marked by clinch fighting for position for long stretches as well as prolonged grappling battles. It became clear that cardio would be a deciding factor. With Lee exhausted in the fourth, a failed takedown attempt opened the door for RDA to take the back.
Once the former lightweight champion had dominant position, he worked to an arm-triangle choke that forced a tap from Lee for just the second time in his career.
- Rafael dos Anjos def. Kevin Lee via submission (arm-triangle choke), 3:47 Round 4
- Ian Heinisch def. Antonio Carlos Junior via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Felicia Spencer def. Megan Anderson by submission (rear-naked choke), 3:24 Round 1
- Vicente Luque def. Derrick Krantz via TKO (punches), 3:52 Round 1
- Charles Oliveira def. Nik Lentz via TKO (punches), 2:11 Round 2
- Davi Ramos def. Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Undercard (ESPN+ at 5 p.m. ET)
- Aspen Ladd def. Sijara Eubanks via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)
- Grant Dawson def. Michael Trizano via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:27 Round 2
- Desmond Green def. Charles Jourdain via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Ed Herman def. Patrick Cummins via TKO (knee, punches), 3:39 Round 1
- Michel Pereira def. Danny Roberts via KO (knee, punches), 1:47 Round 1
- Zak Cummings def. Trevin Giles via submission (guillotine), 4:01 Round 3
- Julio Arce def. Julian Erosa via KO (head kick), 1:49 Round 3
Ian Heinisch vs. Antonio Carlos Junior.
Ian Heinisch just had to weather the storm.
Antonio Carlos Junior came out strong and established himself as the aggressor. He swarmed Hurricane with his grappling in the opening round to take a strong lead, but Heinisch was able to get creative in his wrestling defense and stay in the fight.
As the second round started, the 30-year-old was able to find his footing and begin a comeback. By the third, Heinisch was winning the grappling exchanges and able to grab back the lead to take the unanimous-decision victory.
Heinisch isn't a well-known fighter, but he is certainly doing what he can to become one. After the bout, he called for a fight against Derek Brunson or Jack Hermansson.
Megan Anderson vs. Felicia Spencer
The women's featherweight division has a new contender in Felicia Spencer.
Fresh off a win for the Invicta 145-pound championship, Spencer transitioned to the UFC with a first-round submission win over Megan Anderson.
Spencer had to overcome a massive reach disadvantage in the short time the fight was on the feet, but once it hit the ground, her advantage became clear. Spencer seamlessly took the Australian's back, sank in a rear-naked choke and forced the tap to announce her entrance into the division.
This is a division that is largely devoid of contenders. The UFC website doesn't even have a top 15 for the division. If it did, this win would move Spencer right up the rankings and in line for a title shot if the UFC wants to actually make it a real division.
Vicente Luque vs. Derrick Krantz
Vicente Luque was supposed to get the opportunity to prove himself against a fellow ranked welterweight. Instead, he was forced to take on a promotional newcomer in Derrick Krantz.
He made sure the makeup fight didn't last long.
Luque blasted Krantz with a barrage of punches early in the first round and put him away shortly thereafter.
Neil Magny was forced out of the bout because of a failed U.S. Anti-Doping Agency test, which is unfortunate because Luque has earned the right to prove himself against top competition. The 27-year-old has been on a tear lately and put on one of the most exciting fights of the year against Bryan Barberena.
Hopefully, he's able to get the opportunity he deserves after crushing yet again an opponent who was woefully underqualified to fight him.
Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz
Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz might be the oddest and most unnecessary trilogy in UFC history, but it's been settled. Oliveira picked up win No. 2 against The Carny via TKO to settle the score after one win and a no-contest in their other two fights.
Controversy almost once again marked the fight, as Oliveira grabbed a guillotine choke that appeared to have made Lentz tap. However, the fight went on anyway.
Do Bronx didn't get too caught up in the snafu, though. He wasted little time in catching a Lentz body kick and putting out his lights to pick up his first knockout win since 2010.
It isn't as though Lentz is a big name. It's unclear what this really does for Oliveira's stock other than extend his winning streak to five. However, it does officially give him the upper hand over Lentz, and he did it in exciting fashion.
Davi Ramos vs. Austin Hubbard
Davi Ramos has already established himself as a major threat on the ground. Against Austin Hubbard, he proved he has some striking to go with his jiu-jitsu.
Rather than taking his opponent down and utilizing his grappling, Ramos elected to showcase power on his feet. He didn't disappoint:
Hubbard, who was making his UFC debut, had a few moments in the bout. He floored Ramos in the third in a last-ditch attempt to bring home the win, but his inability to go to the mat with the Brazilian cost him the opportunity. Ramos took the victory with a unanimous decision.
For Ramos, this is his fourth UFC win in a row. He's starting to make an impression:
However, Hubbard should be getting another call from the promotion. While Ramos has proven himself worthy of bigger fish, Hubbard will have the opportunity to prove he belongs.