rafael-dos-anjos-ufc-fight-night-49-1 TULSA – After three fights in four months, the only thing the recently victorious Rafael dos Anjos is thinking about is rest. His career can wait.
“I don’t know about my future right now,” dos Anjos (22-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) told MMAjunkie following his upset of ex-champ Benson Henderson (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 49. “Whatever the UFC says, I’m going to do. Right now, the only thing I’m thinking is I need to take some time to give attention to my family right now and get some rest, and whatever comes after is in the UFC’s hands.”
UFC Fight Night 49 took place at BOK Center in Tulsa. The main card aired on FOX Sports 1 after prelims on FOX Sports 2 and UFC Fight Pass.
So a title shot request isn’t yet a priority for the Brazilian, who was a 3-to-1 underdog to beat Henderson and picked up his biggest win to date. Long considered a standout, dos Anjos struggled against top contenders and couldn’t meet the threshold required of a No. 1 contender.
With a win over Henderson, once considered the best lightweight in the world and the man just behind champ Anthony Pettis, dos Anjos’ performance all but guarantees him a fight against a top-five opponent in his next outing. The only question now is when he returns to the octagon. From the sound of it, he could be out several months.
Undoubtedly, the result of dos Anjos’ first fight in his recent trio motivated his choice to busy his schedule. A decision loss in April to Khabib Nurmagomedov snapped a five-fight win streak that had him on the list of potential future contenders. He returned in June with a second-round TKO of Jason High before accepting a headliner with Henderson, who’d won his previous two against Josh Thomson and Rustam Khabilov, respectively.
The flying knee and left hook that netted dos Anjos a knockout was the result of meticulous preparation for what could have been his longest fight to date. Instead, it was his second shortest, with a 59-second knockout of George Sotiropoulos his quickest appearance to date.
“I came to fight five rounds, because it was my first main event; I’d never fought five rounds before,” he said. “The game plan was coming in with patience, but throw hard, and that’s what I did.” For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 49, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.