But Dos Anjos (30-13 MMA, 19-11 UFC) is a former UFC lightweight champion who returned to 15 155 four years later with mixed results in welterweight. He used the opportunity to remind the world that he was still a key factor in one of the deepest divisions of MMA.
When Felder (17-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC) had his moments at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, it was the night of the dose anzos to shine. He controlled the fighting horn and scored 50-45 in his favor, although the indescribable 48-47 Felder card turned his victory into a split end.
“I coached a Tenpow wrestler, Paul Felder was a controlled fighter, but we needed to do this,” Dos Anjos said. “This is my first fight (lightweight), and I have more changes to make.”
In the opening round Dos Anjos announced his intentions. He found success with a soft comb with body kicks, and Felder could not escape before turning on the fire.
In his lightweight title days, the RDA developed the habit of using point striking after setting up its elite ground game, which is no different. Dos Anzos received a couple of releases in the round, and when they couldn’t do much, Felder was able to land a large left hook on the forehead in the final seconds after returning to his feet.
It was a second-round rinse and repeat performance, though Felder, for his part, was able to keep Dos Anjos upright by landing solid jabs and hooks. He did not find any recurring offense, however, and RDA would close things off with downgrading attempts, which could turn the folder waves whenever it appeared, including a big slam with a 3rd round delay.
After the third, Felder’s coach Duke Rufus said his fighter needed a finish, and Felder increased the urgency. He made some of the best strikes of the fight, but was able to respond to the call of Dos Anjos again, and at the most significant moment a bad cut opened between the eyes of a large left-handed folder.
In fifth place Dos Anjos faded into a hemorrhage, never coming close to submission, but took advantage of the best ability of the fight, never allowing the opponent to free even if he was on the mat or fence.
Dos Anjos, in his 30th UFC appearance, embraced two fight defeats with the success of his 15th career decision. Felder, who was originally scheduled to be the color commentator for the evening cover, missed his second straight match before stepping down after the departure of Islam Mahashev.
“We had a five round battle and I can tell you for sure I’m not going anywhere right now,” Felder said.
The UFC Fight Night 182 light event was the main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It was streamed on ESPN +.
Up to Minute UFC Fight Night 182 Results:
Raphael Dose Anzos Def. Paul Felder via split end (47-48, 50-45, 50-45)
Chaos Williams Def. Abdul Razak Alhasan via KO (Punch) – Round 1, 0:30
Ashley Yoder Def. Miranda Granger by consensus (30-26, 29-27, 29-27)
Sean Strickland Def. Brendan Allen via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:32
Corey McKenna Def. Kay Hanson by consensus (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Canaco Muratta Def. Randa Marcos (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Tony Gravley Def. Geraldo de Freitas (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) Alex Morono Def via split end. By consensus Rice McGee (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Don Dale Mayes Def. Rogue Martinez by consensus (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)