Anthony Pettis to face Rafael dos Anjos in title bout at UFC 185

January 20, 2015

On Saturday, March 14, two world titles will be on the line at UFC 185 inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas when lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defends his title against No. 1 contender Rafael dos Anjos.  The bout will be Pettis' second title defense.

In addition, women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza will make her first title defense against top contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

In his first title defense at UFC 181, Pettis (18-2) submitted Gilbert Melendez to retain his title, capping off a stellar year that saw him sign with Reebok and become the first UFC athlete to ever grace the cover of the iconic Wheaties box. Known for his flashy fight style that’s seen him finish his last four opponents, Pettis is looking to further establish himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Riding a three-fight win streak that includes victories over Nate Diaz and former champ Benson Henderson, Brazil's dos Anjos (23-7), a grizzled 17-year veteran of the sport, hopes to become only the third man to ever defeat Pettis.  Should he win, dos Anjos would be the first Brazilian UFC lightweight champion.

The co-main event will feature Esparza (11-2, fighting out of Irvine, Calif.) and her high-level wrestling style against the striking prowess of undefeated No. 1 contender Jedrzejczyk (8-0, fighting out of Olsztyn, Poland). A five-time Muay Thai world champion, Jedrzejczyk has never lost in the Octagon, compiling victories over 12th-ranked Juliana Lima and 2nd-ranked Claudia Gadelha to earn the shot at Esparza.

In addition, former UFC welterweight champion and Dallas resident Johny Hendricks (16-3) will meet sixth-ranked contender Matt Brown (21-12) in an exciting bout guaranteed to produce fireworks. Both men were involved in Fight of the Year candidates with current champion Robbie Lawler in 2014 and are hoping to secure another crack at the champ.

Also, ninth-ranked heavyweight Roy Nelson (21-10) will collide with No. 11 Alistair Overeem (38-14, 1 NC). The two fan favorites have no shortage of finishing power, as they’ve combined for 53 total finishes – 29 knockouts and 24 submissions.

By Staff of and news services

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