by Adam Martin
A battle of lightweight contenders has been added to the UFC’s next card in Brazil.
According to reporter Ivan Raupp of Brazilian news outlet GloboeSporte.com, the surging Rafael dos Anjos will take on veteran Evan Dunham at UFC on FX 8, which takes place May 18 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil. The fight is expected to be aired on the main card.
Dos Anjos (18-6) has been in the UFC since 2008 but he’s finally starting to come into his own, riding a three-fight win streak at the moment with wins over Mark Bocek, Anthony Njokuani and Kamal Shalarous. A 28-year old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, dos Anjos holds notable career victories over George Sotiropoulos and Terry Etim, among others, and has a solid 7-4 record while fighting in the UFC. In recent fights he’s shown off his improved Muay Thai attack, and against a strong striker like Dunham, he’ll need to use it to win.
Dunham (14-3) has been fighting in the UFC since 2008 and while he started off his UFC career strongly with four-straight wins, he’s since taken a step back, losing three of his last six fights. But in his last bout against Gleison Tibau at UFC 156, Dunham finally picked up that big win that will push him up the lightweight rankings. In his career, the 31-year old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has wins over Nik Letnz, Efrain Escudero and Tyson Griffin, but when he’s fought higher-level competition like Melvin Guillard, Sean Sherk and TJ Grant he’s come up on the short end of the stick. He needs to defeat dos Anjos to prove he’s still someone that can contend for the lightweight title, but it’s not an easy fight at all.
UFC on FX 8 is headlined by Vitor Belfort vs. former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and also features a fight between top middleweight contenders Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Costa Philippou.
What are your thoughts?