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Rafael Dos Anjos Believes Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis is Beatable

Steven Cavagnino

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In only about a week’s time Brazilian destroyer Rafael Dos Anjos, dubbed ‘RDA’, will look to finally reach the pinnacle of his professional Mixed Martial Arts journey when he faces off against UFC Lightweight champ Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis in a 5 round main-event fight for the title. The lightweight bout will headline UFC 185, which will also see newly crowned Woman’s Strawweight champ, Carla Esparza look to defend her title for the first time against #1 contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the night’s co-main event.

Rafael Dos Anjos told MMAJunkie that he acknowledges how big an opportunity it is to fight for the belt. “I worked my whole life for that day, the day of the title fight…” Having climbed the lightweight ranking for years, Dos Anjos has seen only 1 defeat in his past 9 fights, earning him the #3 position in the UFC lightweight rankings. Knocking off contenders like Donald Cerrone, Benson Henderson, and Nate Diaz, Dos Anjos has certainly come into his own after suffering several losses early in his UFC career. With wins like that under his belt, Dos Anjos feels no pressure coming into the title fight, only gratitude for the position he has earned.

“For the first time, I’m fighting with no pressure. I’m just happy to be there, to be in this position, and for sure, I’m so confident for this fight.”

The fight against Pettis will be his 18th UFC fight, a testament to how long Dos Anjos has been performing at such a high level. Having made his debut in 2008, the Brazilian fighter has been in the UFC for 7 years, though, he only moved to the U.S. 3 years ago in hopes to take his training to the next level and land himself in exactly the position he is in. But it didn’t come easy, and Dos Anjos is well aware of that: “I moved here three years ago with my family, and the life wasn’t easy…I had to work hard. I’ve got to feed my kids.”

And believing Pettis beatable is no dig toward the champ. Dos Anjos has the utmost respect for Anthony Pettis, and is not citing any specific holes in the Milwaukee born fighter’s game. Rather, Dos Anjos is more inclined to believe that anything can happen when you’re fighting at this level. “He’s a good fighter, but I just think he’s not unbeatable…” Dos Anjos said of the champ. “We are on the top of the division, and whoever makes a mistake that night is going to pay for it.”

This fight has been a long time coming for RDA, and, with both men possessing one punch knockout power and a potent ground game, it is tough to imagine this fight going the distance. As far as Rafael Dos Anjos is concerned, he’s going to seize this huge opportunity and not let it slip through his fingers.

“I have a chance to change my life, and I will.”

Inspired words from an inspired contender.

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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