Despite getting outgrappled and smothered over five rounds, Paul Felder beat Rafael dos Anjos on one judges’ scorecard in the headliner of UFC Vegas 14.
Even Felder gave a quizzical look when Bruce Buffer announced Chris Lee’s 48-47 scorecard for him after five rounds of grinding action with ex-lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos. But when the other two scorecards were read, dos Anjos was rightfully declared the winner.
Not only did dos Anjos win, but he pitched a shutout with two 50-45 scores per Sal D’Amato and Derek Cleary. Lee had Felder winning rounds 2-4 via 10-9 scores.
Dos Anjos not only muted Felder’s offense against the fence but did solid work on his feet over five rounds. Felder struggled at times with distance and timing as dos Anjos worked on the front and back end of exchanges. A body kick was money for the Brazilian as the two stood in the center of the octagon.
The split-call win put dos Anjos back in the win column after a pair of setbacks at welterweight in bouts against Leon Edwards and Michael Chiesa, respectively. Felder, who took the bout on five days’ notice, has now lost his previous two fights after another split decision – in a February headliner against Dan Hooker – didn’t go his way.
At the post-fight press conference, dos Anjos revealed his immediate reaction when the scores were announced inside the octagon.
“It was the first judge that said that, and I got scared,” he told reporters. “Then when the second judge said 50-45 for me, it was like, huh. And then the last one gave 50-45. I thought I won every round. I was able to control and do my game and secure the ‘W.’”