Rafael dos Anjos reacts to stoppage vs. Rafael Fiziev, uncertain what’s next after UFC Vegas 58


Just when Rafael dos Anjos felt like he was surging to victory, he got caught by a vicious left hook from Rafael Fiziev that ended his night at UFC Vegas 58.

The stunning finale came just second into the fifth round. Fiziev had blasted dos Anjos with the punch that knocked him to the ground. One more shot followed as referee Mark Smith rushed in to stop the contest before dos Anjos could absorb any more damage.

It appeared that dos Anjos protested the end of the ceasefire immediately afterward. In hindsight however, it was clear that the 37-year old Brazilian did not have any complaints regarding the ending.

“I don’t think so,” dos Anjos answered when asked if he thought he was the victim of an early stoppage on the UFC Vegas 58 post-fight show. “I have to watch the tape again, but I do not believe so. He won fair and square.

“I’ve got to rewatch it, and I was kind of still dizzy, but yeah it was a tough fight. Rafael was an extremely tough opponent. Rafael was a tough opponent. I worked hard to prepare for the fight.

After what was arguably the best round of his career in the fourth, dos Anjos wanted to win the fifth. He was ultimately defeated by dos Anjos because of a mental mistake at the beginning of the round.

“I think I was going to the fifth, I was like, ‘I have to put the pressure,’ like my style,” dos Anjos explained. “I thought he was tired, but he’s dangerous. He’s got heavy hands, and I should have more careful at the beginning of the round.”

The loss ended dos Anjos’ two-fight winning streak. He had been fighting in the lightweight division to try and regain the title that he won in 2015..

While it wasn’t what he expected, dos Anjos still had to give credit to Fiziev as he took advantage of the opportunity to win the knockout in round five.

“He is a hard man,” Anjos stated. He was nothing less than I expected. Because I was familiar with east European guys, I knew they were tough. I expected a difficult fight. His takedown defense was actually quite impressive to me, but I managed to get him down in the fourth [round], and hit him with the flying leg.

“The fight was pretty close leading up to the fifth. He was probably just a bit ahead of me, but it’s part of the game. I got caught unfortunately.”

Dos Anjos hasn’t yet gotten over the disappointment of Saturday and is pondering what next.

Falling in Fiziev won’t likely send him down too high, but dos Anjos understands that there is far more road ahead than the one he’s left.

” I fought four months back, I also fought [Renato] Moicano. Now, I fought Fiziev tonight, and now I have to return home to my family and take a moment to enjoy them,” dos Anjos stated when discussing his future. “I was away for 16 months and a long layoff with two knee injuries and a hernia, too.

“Now, it’s time to go back home and enjoy my family a little bit and see what the future holds.”