Rafael Dos Anjos defends Lightweight title in UFC’s return to Orlando

Courtesy of UFC

Rafael+Dos+Anjos+successfully+defended+his+UFC+lightweight+title+on+Saturday+against+Donald+Cerrone.

Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Rafael Dos Anjos successfully defended his UFC lightweight title on Saturday against Donald Cerrone.

ORLANDO — Rafael Dos Anjos finished the fight a little over a minute in as he defended his UFC Lightweight title against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 on Saturday at the Amway Center in Orlando.

Dos Anjos came into the fight on a four-fight winning streak which included defeating then champion Anthony Pettis. This was the Brazilian’s first title defense.

“We knew that I had 25 minutes to win the fight,” said Dos Anjos. “On my way to the octagon I was talking to my coaches and they said we have 25 minutes to win the fight but don’t miss any opportunity…’ and then I felt when I threw a body knee to him it was the beginning of the end.”

The main event was short but explosive as Dos Anjos made quick work of Cerrone but throwing a flurry of punches early and hurting the No. 1 contender. The fight was eventually stopped by the referee once Dos Anjos had Cerrone down and the champion started to ground and pound.

For Cerrone the loss was devastating since the 32-year-old had hopes of winning the title with his terminally ill grandmother in attendance.

This marked the second meeting between the two fighters, with Dos Anjos winning the first matchup by a unanimous decision.

Heavyweight Alistair Overeem finished Junior Dos Santos with a second round knockout in the co-main event as Overeem finished 2015 with a perfect 3-0 record.

“Later on in the fight he became a little bit more aggressive and he started to plant a little bit more,” said Overeem of the knockout. “And that’s the moment I heard from my corner ‘this is the time, throw it.'”

Fan favorite Nate Diaz had one of the more entertaining fights of the night as he went the distance against Michael Johnson and won via a unanimous decision and then called out Conor McGregor in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

“We’re talking about big fights, he wants a big fight, we can fight and that’s a big fight,” said Diaz on fighting McGregor. “And that’s the kind of shit I’m talking about, real fights, not funny fake fights.”

Fight of the Night went to Diaz for his three round battle against Johnson, while performance of the night went to Dos Anjos and Vicente Luque.

Below is a full list of results for UFC on FOX 17:

Main Card:

Championship Bout: (C) Rafael Dos Anjos defeats Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (TKO — 1:06 of Round 1)

Alistair Overeem defeats Junior Dos Santos (KO — 4:43 of Round 2)

Nate Diaz defeats Michael Johnson (Unanimous Decision — 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats Randa Markos (Unanimous Decision — 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Prelims:

Charles Oliveira defeats Myles Jury (Guillotine Choke — 1:55 of Round 1)

Nate Marquardt defeats C.B. Dolloway (KO — 0:28 0f Round 2)

Valentina Shevchenko defeats Sarah Kaufman  (Split Decision — 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Tamdan McCrory defeats Josh Samman (Triangle Choke — 4:10 of Round 3)

Nik Lentz defeats Danny Castillo (Split Decision — 28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Cole Miller vs. Jim Alers (No Contest following Eye Poke — 1:44 of Round 2)

Kamaru Usman defeats Leon Edwards (Unanimous Decision — 29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Vicente Luque defeats Hayder Hassan(Anaconda Choke at 2:13 of Round 1)

Francis Ngannou defeats Luis Henrique (TKO at 2:53 of Round 2)