Commentary

Where does dos Anjos go from here?

Originally Published: March 16, 2015
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

After 18 fights, 13 wins and (finally) one lightweight championship belt, one might think Rafael dos Anjos would get some much-deserved attention.

Unfortunately, I'm not 100 percent convinced it's going to work that way.

That isn't fair, of course. Dos Anjos should be getting the Ronda Rousey treatment after what he did on Saturday. That wasn't some anonymous Fighter X he stomped in Dallas, after all. That was Anthony Pettis. Showtime, Pretty Tony Pettis. The off-the-cage-kicking ninja posing on your Wheaties box.

And dos Anjos (24-7) smashed him, to the point I'm sure some were starting to feel pretty badly for poor AP. UFC president Dana White said his own son, a big-time Pettis fan, left the arena crying.

Yet I don't think we'll be seeing dos Anjos on "Conan" this month to talk about the win. During the fight itself, the feeling inside American Airlines Arena was more disappointment about Pettis not being on that particular night, than it was elation for the fact that dos Anjos was.

The nice thing about all this is that it doesn't seem to bother the now-No. 1 lightweight in the world, who wore a million-dollar grin as he hoisted his son in the Octagon after the fight.

At the postfight news conference he politely answered questions about his injured knee. There was no talk about his potential legacy, as there surely would have been had Pettis won. (By the way, since 2012, dos Anjos has recorded more than twice as many victories as Pettis.)

Dos Anjos has the belt. It's his and he delivered a performance for the ages to get it. What he does with it, though, will heavily influence the context of how this fight is remembered -- and how often it is.

With that, we jump into UFC 185 fighter grades.

Brett Okamoto

ESPN Staff Writer

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