Rafael dos Anjos pulled the upset, knocking out former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night in Tulsa, Okla. on Saturday.
An underdog going into the fight, dos Anjos outstruck the favored Henderson and picked up the win at 2:31 of the first round.
“I knew my striking was better than his,” dos Anjos said in his post-fight interview.
Henderson and dos Anjos engaged in a competitive striking exchange, testing each other on the feet for a majority of the opening round. Dos Anjos then began to land strikes, both kicks and punches, in greater numbers and accuracy than his opponent.
Dos Anjos closed the distance and landed a flying knee, which Henderson followed up with a takedown attempt. The efforts to get the fight to the ground went without positive results for Henderson, as dos Anjos stayed on his feet.
As Henderson was coming back to a standing fight, dos Anjos landed a left hand that sent his foe falling to the floor unconscious. The referee then leapt in to put a stop to the fight.
Upon having dos Anjos taken off him, Henderson suggested that the fight may have been stopped early, claiming that he was focused enough to continue.
“I thought I was clear headed enough,” Henderson said, following the win. “It is what it is.”
With the win in Tulsa, dos Anjos has won seven of his last eight fights, the only recent loss being to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC on FOX 11 last April.
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