There were few indications that Paul Felder was fighting Rafael dos Anjos on short notice. But, despite Felder’s gutsy, inspiring performance, the striking and wrestling of dos Anjos delievered him the win at UFC Vegas 14 .
Felder came out pressing and fired a few kicks, but RDA returned fire not long after. RDA planted a hard left a minute in and both lightweights continued to throw heavy shots. RDA was cut in one of the exchanges and he proceeded to take Felder down. The latter worked his way back to his feet but RDA continued to clinch up. Felder broke free and the two resumed striking in the center of the cage.
RDA started to land more often late in the round and Felder attempted a takedown. RFA defended and the two worked along the cage. Late in the round, RDA pounded a big left hook that Felder ate.
RDA tried pushing Felder to the cage early on into round two, but the latter responded with some hard elbows and a thumping kick. RDA responded with heavy shots of his own and shot in. Felder defended but RDA scored with a nice elbow. Both men continued to pound big punches and RDA shot in one more time. RDA scored with the takedown but once again, Felder quickly worked his way back up. RDA tagged Felder with a big left hand right before the horn.
Both fighters came with several kicks early in the round. RDA tried taking the fight down again but Felder defended, and a clinch battle ensued. Moments later, RDA took Felder to the floor with a nicely timed takedown. Felder gave up his back but managed to get back to his feet. Both fighers fired elbows in the clinch and after another exchange, RDA changed levels again.
In the final minute, RDA lifted Felder in the air and slammed him to the floor.
Feldercame out aggressively to begin round four, as he likely needs a finish to win the bout. RFA pounded a heavy kick to the body. RDA picked up the pace and shot in on Felder’s legs again. Felder defended and another clinch battle ensued. Eventually, the two broke away from the cage and Felder fired a nice flurry. Felder followed up with some wining punches and then he took RDA down. Wow. By the end of the round, Felder was bleeding quite a lot out of a cut on his forehead.
Both fighters stayed busy in the early moments of round five, and moments later, RDA took Felder down, and not against the fence. RDA worked from the top and started hunting for an arm-triangle-choke. Felder defended, but RDA continued to work from above. Eventually, Felder worked his way back to his feet but RDA continued to work for the takedown. With just over ten seconds left, RDA took Felder down one more time.
Gutsy performance by Felder, but RDA should have this.
Shockingly, one judge scored the fight for Felder, but the other two judges gave RDA all five rounds.
UFC Vegas 14 results
Here are the complete results for tonight’s card, which took place at the Apex Facility.
Rafael Dos Anjos def. Paul Felder via split decision (47-48, 50-45, 50-45)
Khaos Williams def. Abdul Razak Alhassan via KO (punches) R1, 0:30
Ashley Yoder def. Miranda Granger via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 27-26)
Sean Strickland def. Brendan Allen via TKO (punches) R2, 1:32
Cory McKenna def. Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kanako Murata def. Randa Markos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tony Gravely def. Geraldo de Freitas via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Alex Morono def. Rhys McKee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Don’Tale Mayes def. Roque Martinez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)