UFC 185: five things we learnt

There is a new UFC Champion and his name is Rafael Dos Anjos

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1. Showtime cancelled as Dos Anjos dismantles Pettis

There is a new UFC Champion and his name is Rafael Dos Anjos. In a performance that was years in the making, Dos Anjos beat Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis by unanimous decision, not only cementing himself as the man at 155 but by doing so in such a dominant fashion that the judges scorecards read 50-45,50-45,50-45 in his favour.

Whether Pettis underestimated Dos Anjos or not, this was as clear a victory outside of a stoppage you will likely see at this level of MMA and was richly deserved. Dos Anjos is on a tear and his next opponent will be the winner of the Cowboy Cerrone vs Khabib Nurmagomedov. The last man to beat him? Khabib, of course. This is a division that is stacked full of great match ups, and with a new King of the Mountain in place, expect that to continue.

2. You will remember the name Jędrzejczyk

With a surname many found hard to pronounce, Joanna Jędrzejczyk entered the octagon to face Straweight champion Carla Esparza known simply as Joanna to most in attendance and at home. Following her second round stoppage of Esparza however, this is a name that everyone will have to learn. In an at times brutally one sided affair, the Polish star took the TUF 20 winner to school and had no difficulty in matching Esparza’s wrestling while demonstrating her clear advantage in striking. Looking at the list of contenders for her newly won crown, do not expect Joanna Jędrzejczyk to be going anywhere anytime soon.

3. Hendricks back on track but still unsatisfied

Johny Hendricks loss of the UFC Middleweight Championship to Robbie Lawler still haunts him, and he has stated on more than one occasion that he still believes he did enough to remain champion before losing on a split decision. Against ‘The Immortal’ Matt Brown, Hendricks arrived in the best shape of his career and looked to put on a display that would send a warning out to Robbie Lawler and Rory McDonald that whomever wins their upcoming clash would merely be keeping the belt warm for him. And while Hendricks ended the evening with his arm raised following a unanimous decision victory over the ever-dangerous Brown, Hendricks was the first to admit that his finishing skills eluded him on the night and that he was forced to rely heavily on his excellent wrestling technique (which is an excellent Plan B). The fight itself promised much but delivered little, but Hendricks has passed an important milestone on his road to redemption.

3. Overeem sends a signal to Heavyweight division

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Alistair Overeem’s victory over ‘Big Country’ Roy Nelson was that it went the distance, with either man expected to win by landing a knockout blow to end the contest. Not far behind was the smooth, clever way in which Overeem went about his business, keeping a cool head and picking his punches, as well as his devastating kicks, to beat the crowd favourite Nelson. The Hounslow born Overeem almost clinched defeat from the jaws of victory when he was floored by a Nelson haymaker late in the third, but held on for the deserved unanimous victory.

5. Pearson gives Sunderland’s best performance of the weekend

It’s not a good time to be a Mackem, but at least ross Pearson can raise a smile to even the weariest face on Wearside following his emphatic second round knockout of Sam Stout. Stout offered Pearson far too much respect during the contest, continually acknowledging whenever Pearson landed a strong blow, and he was left to acknowledge a loss in the second round following Pearson’s thunderous left hand and subsequent follow up. Pearson claims to be the best striker in the Lightweight division, and this performance certainly suggests that he might not be lying.