In the end, though, the Brazilian dos Anjos edged out Dunham on scorecards, taking home a unanimous decision.
The lightweight bout was part of Saturday’s UFC on FX 8 event at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. It aired on the FX-televised main card following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Dos Anjos kept his pace high early in the fight, attacking Dunham with kicks. Dunham appeared slightly slower in exchanges, but managed to return fire in close. A brief ground exchange saw the American pick up a few points.
Dunham took the fight back to the mat early in the second, but he was forced to defend a submission attempt. Dos Anjos found his range midway through the round, scoring with a pair of stiff left hands. That prompted Dunham to attempt another takedown, but he was stifled by Dos Anjos, who began to bleed generously from a cut on his right eye. The crimson seemed to motivate Dunham, who upped the pace late in the frame.
Likely tied going into the third frame, Dunham kept the pressure on as Dos Anjos looked to counter. The Brazilian countered well to the body, though he was unable to stop Dunham, who mixed his combinations with takedown attempts. By the fight’s end, both were swinging for the fences, but it was Dunham that was landing with more frequency.
Dunham’s late-fight rally ultimately wasn’t enough to sway judges, who scored the fight unanimously for dos Anjos (19-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), 29-28, who’s now won four straight. Dunham (14-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC), meanwhile, is back on the road to redemption after outpointing Gleison Tibau at UFC 156.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Evan Dunham via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)