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UFC 185 fight card primer: Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC Lightweight title.

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In the main event at UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos, UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (18-2 MMA; 5-1 UFC) defends his title against challenger Rafael dos Anjos (23-7 MMA; 12-5 UFC). This five round Lightweight fight caps off the five fight UFC 185 main card. The UFC Rankings have dos Anjos as the #1 contender for the belt, with champion Pettis at #5 on the Pound for Pound list. UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos airs live from Dallas, TX this Saturday, March 14. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at  8:00 p.m. ET on FX and 6:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

While dos Anjos may not be the most likely challenger, this remains a very exciting and interesting title fight. Anthony Pettis is fast rising up the Pound for Pound ranks, and is on Dana White's ever expanding list of guys who are clearly #1 in the world. He's been on a crazy run as of late, and looks to continue that here. Add in a strong undercard with a 2nd world title fight and you have a pretty great, stacked card not to be missed.

How do these two stack up?

Pettis: 28 years old | 5'10" | 73" reach
dos Anjos: 30 years old | 5'9" | 71" reach

What have these two done recently?

Pettis: W - Gilbert Melendez (Sub) | W - Ben Henderson (Sub) | W - Donald Cerrone (KO)
dos Anjos: W - Nate Diaz (UD) | W - Ben Henderson (KO) | W - Jason High (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Anthony "Showtime" Pettis was the most hyped fighter coming out of WEC, but his UFC career got off to a rocky start, with a debut loss to Clay Guida. He'c clearly righted the ship since though, with his last 3 fights ending in stoppage victories over Cerrone, Henderson, and Melendez - a very impressive trio of performances. Pettis has shown he has skills to rival every single fighter in MMA today, but his greatest weakness remains his time on injury reserve - this is just his 7th UFC fight in 4 years. If he can stay healthy and get his momentum going, he has the potential to be the #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world.

Rafael dos Anjos is in many ways an extremely unlikely challenger. Consider this - he's been in the UFC for nearly 7 years, debuting on a card headlined by Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar. He started his UFC career going 4-4 and seemed destined for a role of Gleison Tibau-esque mid-level gatekeeper. Then in 2013, he started putting it all together, and he now holds wins over Donald Cerrone, Ben Henderson, and Nate Diaz - a great resume. I'm struggling to think of many other fighters who have seemed destined for the mid card for so many years only to finally break through to the main event and challenge for the title in arguably the UFC's deepest division. It's an impressive run that has brought dos Anjos here - kudos to the veteran for all his hard work.

Why should you care?

Anthony Pettis does cool stuff in the cage. Violent cool stuff. You want to see it.