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Rafael dos Anjos
Rafael dos Anjos has been a force in the UFC for several years, but it wasn’t until he relocated his family from Brazil to California that his career took a major turn.
His decision to move north in 2012 undoubtedly played a role in dos Anjos getting a crack at the UFC lightweight title – and his unexpected victory over champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 185.
Dos Anjos, the first Brazilian to hold the UFC lightweight belt, is a veteran of 31 MMA fights, but his bout against Pettis was his first title shot. He earned it by winning eight of his previous nine fights, including victories over Donald Cerrone, Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz.
Of his 24 wins, dos Anjos, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, has eight submissions and four knockouts. His unanimous decision win over Pettis, considered among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC, was a testament to his training and game planning with his head coach, Rafael Cordeiro. Dos Anjos, 30, dominated Pettis for five rounds in what was clearly the fight of his life.