LAS VEGAS - If George Sotiropoulos has an achilles heel it's holding his chin too high. It also didn't help tonight that he kept leaving his hands out after throwing a punch.
The Aussie got mixed up in some wild swinging with Rafael dos Anjos and the next thing he knew, referee Yves Lavigne was desperately trying to pull dos Anjos from on top him. Dos Anjos scored a vicious knockout at the 0:59 mark of the first round in the first Spike fight at UFC 132.
Sotiropoulos, No. 15 lightweight in the world according to the USA Today/Bloody Elbow rankings, was a minus-270 favorite. This was a huge win for dos Anjos (15-5, 4-2 UFC), who was coming off a 10-month layoff after suffering a jaw injury in his last fight, a loss against Clay Guida.
"I wanted to stay standing, but if it went to the ground, I was confident in my jiu-jitsu. I wanted to show the fans my striking tonight and I'm happy I got this knockout," said dos Anjos. "I went through a rough patch after my last fight, but I came back and truly believe I'm better than ever. A few years down the road, I can see myself winning the world title. This is a big win for me."
This has been a rotten year for Sotiropoulos. Following a win last November at UFC 123 that put him in position to ask for a title shot against either Frank Edgar or Gray Maynard, Sotiropoulos (14-4, 7-2 UFC) begged for a quick turnaround and a fight in February in his native Australia at UFC 127. That plan backfired as he suffered his first loss in the UFC against Denis Siver.
Tonight, was even more damaging. The lightweight division is so deep, two straight losses puts you miles away from a title shot.