In the main event of UFC Vegas 14, Rafael dos Anjos was making his return to the lightweight division to take on Paul Felder who took the fight on short notice.
Entering the fight, both men were looking to get back into the win column and get a top-five opponent next time out. Yet, it was dos Anjos who used his grappling to dominate the fight and win a clear decision, although one judge somehow had it scored for Felder.
Now, following the event, here is what I think should be next for Rafael dos Anjos and Paul Felder.
Rafael dos Anjos
Immediately after dos Anjos won, Islam Makhachev called for their fight to be rebooked. It certainly makes sense as it was an intriguing matchup to see if Makhachev is as good as many think he is.
However, after dos Anjos picked up a win over a top-10 lightweight in Paul Felder, the Brazilian will likely want to fight ahead of him and even called out Conor McGregor. However, one scrap that makes sense is RDA vs. fifth-ranked lightweight, Dan Hooker.
Rafael dos Anjos is a big name and no doubt deserves a top-ranked opponent. He is the former champion and showed lightweight is where he belongs. So, throwing him in another main event against Hooker, on a full camp, will really test just how good he still is.
Paul Felder was on the brink of his retirement, but after his loss to dos Anjos, he said he has the fire again and wants to continue competing.
Even though “The Irish Dragon” took the fight on five days’ notice, he will likely still get a ranked opponent and the fight that makes the most sense is Al Iaquinta. Felder and Iaquinta were supposed to fight at UFC 223, but after the bus incident, Iaquinta got the title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov and they did not get rebooked. Felder was also offered the fight earlier this year, according to various reports.
So, with Felder and Iaquinta both on a two-fight losing streak, it makes sense to have them fight with the winner likely entering gatekeeper status at lightweight.
What do you think should be next for Rafael dos Anjos and Paul Felder after UFC Vegas 14?