Rafael dos Anjos wanted the doctor to stop his fight against Renato Moicano at UFC 272 on Saturday night.
Dos Anjos met Moicano on days’ notice after his original opponent — Rafael Fiziev — was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival to the States. The former UFC lightweight champion then accepted a short-notice 160-pound catchweight with Moicano, who just earned a submission win over Alexander Hernandez at UFC 271 less than a month ago.
Though Moicano started very aggressive, Dos Anjos did the most harm throughout the fight. RDA was always one step ahead of his opponent and found success in the striking and grappling exchanges, completely battering Moicano. By the end of the third round, Dos Anjos appeared to be on his way to a stoppage victory after a head kick followed by some brutal ground-and-pound left Moicano a bloody mess on the canvas. He survived and returned to his corner, looking worse for wear with cuts and swelling around his eye.
At the start of the fourth and fifth rounds, referee Marc Goddard requested the cageside physician to examine the eye of Moicano. He was cleared and allowed to continue fighting, but Dos Anjos kept the pressure on and drowned the American Top Team (ATT) product on the ground. Moicano nearly turned the tide after going for broke in the final five minutes of the fight, but it was not enough to best Dos Anjos.
During his post-fight press conference with assembled media in Las Vegas, Dos Anjos was asked about inflicting so much damage to a clearly impaired Moicano. Like an overwhelming majority of fans and pundits, the Brazilian believed the doctor should have stopped the fight sooner.
“I really wanted the doctor to stop it but they didn’t,” said Dos Anjos (video provided by MMA Fighting). “But I got to do what I got to do, unfortunately. I was trying to finish the fight, but the guy is tough as nails.”
Moicano was immediately transported to a local hospital for further evaluation, but the 32-year-old has already provided an update on social media. He thanked the UFC and Dos Anjos for the fight and seemed to be in good spirits, all things considered.
As for Dos Anjos, he expressed interest in returning against who he would deem ‘a good name’ for his next appearance. That may no longer include Islam Makhachev, who he has tried to fight on three occasions, all of which have failed for various reasons. He has another failed booking in mind, though.
“It looks like he’s only going to fight Beneil Dariush,” said Dos Anjos. “He had a chance to fight me tonight [and] he didn’t. At 170 pounds, I took the fight. They didn’t, and I don’t know. It looks like Conor [McGregor] is coming back in the summer. That could be a good one. [A] title fight is already scheduled. We’ll see, man. A lot of things can happen. I just want to be active. I want to be training. I need good names. Man, I’ve been in this game for so many years. Fought everybody in two divisions. I need names that make me want to go to the gym and train hard for it, you know? That’s what I want.”
Since returning to the lightweight division, Dos Anjos now boasts a two-fight win streak.