Rafael dos Anjos explains why he “struggled” in early moments of Paul Felder fight, admits he was “scared” during judges’ decision

Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee

UFC lightweight contender Rafael dos Anjos explained why he felt he struggled in his split decision win over Paul Felder at UFC Vegas 14.

RDA made his return to the lightweight division, a weight class where he was previously a champion, after losing four of his last five fights at welterweight to bigger fighters. In his return to the weight class he used to be the king of, RDA took on Felder in the main event of UFC Vegas 14, and he took home a split decision at the end of 25 minutes. Most felt that he should have won unanimously, but regardless of the scores, a win is a win.

Most observers watching were impressed with dos Anjos, who was able to mix together his striking and wrestling to put on a tremendous showing for a victory in his return to 155. However, RDA is his own toughest critic and while fans were impressed, he wasn’t.

Speaking to the media following UFC Vegas 14, RDA spoke about his performance and explained why he was disappointed by his showing and scared of the judges’ decision.

“I had to do everything that I did not train for. Five days, I had to make all the adjustments. I was training to defend takedowns against a southpaw wrestler and I had to face a very technical orthodox striker and I got him to step on five days’ notice and he said he had nothing to lose. It’s very hard to fight against guys like that and I kind of felt it in the beginning of the round. I struggled a bit with the distance and him being orthodox, it took me a while to read that,” said RDA (via MMAjunkie.com).

“I got scared (from the decision). I thought I won every round. I was able to control and do my game and secure the W.”

How do you think Rafael dos Anjos looked against Paul Felder?