UFC Fight Night 111: Holm vs. Correia took place Saturday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. The four fight main card featured a trio of former UFC champions looking for redemption. In the main event, Holly Holm looked to put an end to a three fight losing streak, while in the co-main event, Andrei Alrovski looked to stop a four fight skid of his own. Yet UFC Singapore had another champion as well: former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos.
RDA was making his welterweight debut at the event, yet was a unanimous pick to win by Cageside Press staff. So how did he fare at 170lbs Saturday, against former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine? Was he able to shake off the two-fight losing streak he entered on?
Saffiedine secured the center of the octagon to start out, as dos Anjos looked to feint. He blocked a high kick that still made some contact, and threw a kick to the body of his own. A subsequent kick was caught by Saffiedine, who took RDA to the canvas. Saffiedine worked from half guard, but dos Anjos threatened with a kimura. That slowed Saffiedine’s roll momentarily. Ultimately, dos Anjos would work free and make it back to the feet while in a clinch.
At the halfway mark of the round Saffiedine landed a standing elbow that seemed to signal a return to the striking game. It was short lived, as the Brazilian opted to press Saffiedine up against the fence, then secure an easy takedown. Rafael dos Anjos again threatened with a kimura, but Saffiedine worked to his feet and spun out of it. A spinning knee along the fence by RDA got the fans cheering, but didn’t do much damage. However by round’s end, dos Anjos was finding a home for his punches.
After a slight delay while Saffiedine’s corner looked for his mouth guard, the second round got underway pretty much where the first left off. RDA continued to push forward, and seemed to have renewed confidence in his striking. They’d clinch along the fence, with dos Anjos picking up his opponent, but he couldn’t finish the slam.
The Brazilian was in control for quite some time, but came close to landing an illegal knee while Saffiedine was grounded. Or perhaps did; Saffiedine had his knee down, so the question was, did the knee hit head, or shoulder?
Regardless the ref missed the call, Saffiedine wasn’t hurt, and action went right on. Saffiedine ate several shots towards the end of the round, with RDA looking the fresher of the two.
With an RDA body kick opening the third, you had the feeling it was the former lightweight champion’s fight to lose. Saffiedine was still in the fight, but seemed to have slowed a step. dos Anjos worked in a good mix of kicks, body shots, and head strikes throughout the third. The action started to drag towards the end of the round, with the ref encouraging the pair to stay active. They came on at the end, but ultimately, it was Rafael dos Anjos’ night.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)