It wasn’t a fluke or a slip that provided Rafael dos Anjos with his chance Saturday night.
No, the Brazilian dominated Anthony Pettis for 25 minutes in becoming the new UFC lightweight champion with a convincing decision victory at UFC 185.
Dos Anjos (24-7) won for the fourth straight time, adding Pettis’ name to a list that includes Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone. His lone loss since 2011 came at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who could be his first title defense later this year.
“It is just amazing,” he said. “I knew I was going to win before this fight happened. (God) told me that.”
While Pettis was the favorite, dos Anjos wasn’t concerned. He was competing in front of his family, who joined him inside the Octagon for a celebration with the title afterwards.
“I am an MMA fighter,” he said. “Striker, jiu-jitsu black belt, improving wrestling. I am the best in the world.
“I come from the bottom and now I am here, fighting in the main event and the UFC champion.”