Rafael dos Anjos beat Donald Cerrone at his own game and out struck the “Cowboy” in a three-round decision win on Wednesday night.
The Brazilian earned his first win over a top-ranked lightweight in his career in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 27. The lightweight fight aired on FOX Sports 1 and took place at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.
Dos Anjos came into the fight riding a four-fight win streak but still was the underdog to the sixth-ranked Cerrone.
In the opening round, dos Anjos quickly pushed forward and took advantage of the notoriously slow starting Cerrone. The 28-year-old was able to drop Cerrone with a right-hand and finished the round out on top.
The Indy crowd tried to fire up Cerrone with chants of “Cowboy” but dos Anjos was still in control in the second round. The former Pancrase fighter was able to out strike Cerrone nearly 2 to 1 in the second round.
Needing a finish to win the fight, the “Cowboy” picked up his pace in the third round and was able to defend dos Anjos’ takedown attempts and out strike the Brazilian to steal the third and final round.
The fight would go to the judges and all three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of dos Anjos.
With the win, dos Anjos improves his record to 20-6 and now has a five-fight winning streak.
With the loss, Cerrone drops to 20-6 and 7-3 overall in the UFC.