Anthony Pettis entered UFC 185 in Dallas on Saturday as the lightweight champion and ranked fifth in the UFC Pound-for-Pound rankings. Rafael dos Anjos walked into the Octagon at the American Airlines Center as the challenger and the underdog.
Dos Anjos dominated Pettis en route to capturing the lightweight title, winning all five rounds of the main event on all three judges’ scorecards. The way he was able to best Pettis in nearly every position also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. It was an impressive display, but we didn’t know exactly how impressive it was until the event was over.
“Apparently, two weeks ago, he blew his MCL (medial collateral ligament) and fought tonight with a blown MCL,” revealed UFC president Dana White during the event’s post-fight press conference.
The injury occurred about three weeks prior to the event while a UFC 185 Countdown camera crew was at his fight camp to film him training.
“The day that they were shooting the Countdown with me, the same day that they were shooting part of my sparring session, I popped my knee,” said the lightweight titleholder. “I’ve never had a knee injury in my whole life. Thank God my knee is really tough. I’ve got a strong knee, but for the first time this happened. It was like three weeks ago. I couldn’t grapple. I couldn’t wrestle since that.
“I don’t know if you noticed, I didn’t kick in the open workouts,” dos Anjos added. “I didn’t use any kicks because I was kind of dehydrated and I didn’t want my injury to get worse. But everything went perfectly in the fight.”
While White characterized the injury as a “blown” MCL, the newly crowned champion downplayed the severity of the damaged knee. Although, he admitted that he was close to pulling out of the fight during the UFC 185 Post Show.
“My right knee hurt bad three weeks ago and I almost pulled out of the fight. I don’t know if I was going to have this chance soon. So I took the chance and here I am. I got my title, my belt,” said the 30-year-old Brazilian.
Dos Anjos plans to have the knee evaluated by doctors, but doesn’t believe that he’ll require surgery.
“I haven’t gone to the doctor yet. I need to do an MRI just to make sure, but I think it’s not bad. I will not need surgery,” he said. “I think I will not need surgery.”