Photos by Michael Bacos
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or the first time since UFC 92, two champions lost their crown on the same night. UFC 185 brought a lot of surprises to the American Airlines Center in Dallas this past weekend.
The huge shocker came in the main event as Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (18-3) lost his belt to Brazil’s Rafael dos Anjos (24-7) in a unanimous decision. What came as even more of a surprise was dos Anjos’ sheer dominance of Pettis, who went into the fight as a 4-to-1 favorite. Dos Anjos won all five rounds on the judges’ scorecards to take the UFC Lightweight title.
“The strategy was chase him, hit him hard and make him scared of my hands,” dos Anjos said. “I think once I hit him, the fight changed. Once I started throwing my kicks and my punches, he felt I was throwing hard and that was part of the game. Make him afraid of my punches and kicks.”
Dos Anjos did an excellent job of pressuring Pettis and never allowed him to control the center of the Octagon.
In another upset, albeit a less-shocking one, Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk (pronounced yed-zhey-chek) defeated Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza by TKO due to punches in the second round in the first ever UFC Strawweight Title bout, now claimed by the Polish Muay Thai champion.
Jedrzejczyk dominated Esparza by displaying her fast hand speed and used her height to her advantage through her jab, never allowing Esparza to get inside. Esparza, who is a wrestler by trade, had every single one of her takedown attempts stuffed by Jedrzejczyk and eventually succumbed to the punches to end the fight.
Jedrzejczyk becomes Poland’s first ever UFC champion and the second UFC champion from Eastern Europe, next to Andrei Arlovski.
However, the Latinos did walk out with a victory in Dallas as 2008 Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo defeated Chris Cariaso by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3) to open the main card of UFC 185.
Cejudo said after the fight:
“My striking has improved. I wasn’t too impressed with my performance—there’s a lot more I could’ve done. I hold myself to really high standards and I didn’t live up to them tonight. He didn’t hit me with one punch and, if he did, I didn’t feel it and I know I heard him say ‘ouch’ a few times. This was only my second fight in the UFC and I fought a top-10 guy. He’s tough, but I train to dominate. I want a top-5 opponent next, but if they want to give me the title shot, I’m okay with that too.”