Rafael dos Anjos and Joanna Jedrzejczyk both scored historic victories last night at UFC 185 in Dallas.
Both had entered the cage as challengers against UFC champions. Both, in fact, were betting underdogs, and both were facing crowd favorites — American champions in front of a partisan crowd. They came from different places, for sure — dos Anjos from Rio de Jainero, Brazil; and Jedrzejczyk from Krakow, Poland.
But both exited the cage champions — and neither fight was even close.
Dos Anjos dominated five rounds against lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who was a -400 betting favorite. The Brazilian had no problems with Pettis’ vaunted quickness and dynamic striking attack, as he beat the champ to the punch with a variety of strikes — and scored takedowns virtually at will. Final scores were 50-45 across the board. Dos Anjos becomes the first ever Brazilian (and, in fact, the first ever non-American) to hold the promotion’s lightweight title.
In the co-main event, Jedrzejczyk served a beat-down to UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza, eventually forcing a referee stoppage in the second round. Esparza managed just one takedown, after which Jedrzejczyk escaped and took over. The former kickboxing champion showed off a potent Muay Thai arsenal, landing a particularly effective right hand. Esparza was on her back heel and shaken when the end came at 2:14 of round two. Jedrzejczyk is just the third European champion in UFC history, and the first from Poland.
Earlier in the evening, former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem won wide decision victories, as did undefeated Henry Cejudo.
Full results can be found on our play-by-play at http://www.cagedinsider.com/ufc/ufc-185-play-by-play-results-all-fights/