Rafael dos Anjos was the king of the lightweights and sitting pretty for a while there, and he was on the cusp of making big bucks with a fight looming against Conor McGregor. But he bowed out with an injury and Nate Diaz took his place, and now McGregor and Diaz are fabulously wealthy and Dos Anjos isn’t even the champ anymore, he’s just trying to find wins and make mortgage payments.

Tarec Saffiedine was a Strikeforce star whose transition to the Octagon was impeded by injuries that kept him on the sidelines.

And now they’re fighting, with Dos Anjos moving up to welterweight for this one.

Round 1 begins with Saffiedine flexing those old kickboxing muscles, keeping the former champ at range and picking at him with kicks both high and low. He catches Dos Anjos off balance with a jab-cross combo, and when the Brazilian goes down, Saffiedine follows him, taking top position and controlling him. It takes a while for Dos Anjos to reverse, but when he finally does, you have to think that Saffiedine did more and took the round.

The second is all about Dos Anjos doing what he does best, which is a smothering striking game. That’s Saffiedine’s Kryptonite, as he needs some distance to make his mojo work, and Dos Anjos spends the whole frame nailing him with hard kicks to the body and combos to the grill.

The third round is more of the same, and though Saffiedine turns up the heat in the final seconds, it ain’t enough.


Results: Rafael dos Anjos def. Tare Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision