During the post-fight media scrum, Dos Anjos - who defeated Felder via split decision - revealed that he struggled a bit in the initial stages of the fight, suggesting that the change of opponent less than a week before the fight affected his performance at UFC Vegas 14.
dos Anjos was initially scheduled to face Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC Vegas 14, but a staph infection knocked the latter off the bout, leading to Felder stepping up on just five days' notice.
The former UFC lightweight champion explained that against Felder, he had make a number of adjustments:
“I had to do everything that I did not train for. Five days, I had to make all the adjustments. I was training to defend takedowns against a southpaw wrestler and I had to face a very technical orthodox striker," dos Anjos said, via MMA Junkie.
dos Anjos added that Felder's 'nothing to lose' attitude made him even more dangerous:
"I got him to step on five days’ notice and he said he had nothing to lose. It’s very hard to fight against guys like that and I kind of felt it in the beginning of the round. I struggled a bit with the distance and him being orthodox, it took me a while to read that.”
Throughout the five-round bout, dos Anjos was able to outwork Felder, especially on the ground. While many saw it as a clear-cut unanimous decision win for the Brazilian veteran, one judge scored it 48-47 for Felder.
“I got scared…I thought I won every round. I was able to control and do my game and secure the W," dos Anjos said.
Rafael dos Anjos successfully returns to lightweight division
After a lackluster run at 170-pounds, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos made a triumphant return to the division that he once ruled.
dos Anjos, who held the UFC's 155-pound title from 2015 to 2016, dropped his title to Eddie Alvarez and then suffered another defeat at lightweight at the hands of Tony Ferguson. The back-to-back defeats prompted dos Anjos to test the waters at welterweight.
dos Anjos secured multiple impressive victories at to begin his career at welterweight, beating former champion Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny, and Robbie Lawler.
However, Dos Anjos subsequently came up short in his bid to win the interim UFC welterweight title against Colby Covington.
After the loss to Covington, dos Anjos went 1-3 in his next four fights at 170-pounds.
Now, dos Anjos is back at 155, and his second run at lightweight is off to a good start after recently defeating Paul Felder at UFC Vegas 14.Published 16 Nov 2020, 03:19 IST