FAIRFAX, Va. - In a lightweight bout scheduled for three rounds, Brazilian Rafael Dos Anjos, fresh off a win against Rob Emerson, squared off against Kyle Bradley, who recently defeated Philippe Nover in convincing fashion.

After a couple of minutes of stand-up hand striking in the first round, Dos Anjos attempted to pull guard to no avail, and the striking continued with both fighters starting to mix in kicks with their punches and until Dos Anjos scored the fight's first takedown halfway through the round, shortly after the fight has been paused briefly to allow Bradley time to recover from a kick below the belt. Bradley regained his feet for the last minute of the round, but Dos Anjos had done enough to put round one in his pocket.

Bradley started the second round with some decent leg and body kicks but before long, he was taken down again. Dos Anjos worked for submissions from a North/South position but Bradley escaped back halfway through the round and resumed striking with increased effectiveness. Dos Anjos worked him back down to the ground toward the end of the round and it became increasingly clear that top position would be the key to his success as he secured another round on the scorecards.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

To the extent that Bradley could still hear through his badly bleeding left ear, he was no doubt instructed by his corner between rounds to do everything in his power to keep the fight on the feet. 

But, less than a minute into the third round, he was on his back again and looking very tired. When Bradley worked back to his feet with two minutes to go, I wondered if he would try to capitalize on all of his early leg and body kicking by faking a low kick and going for the knockout high kick upstairs. Dos Anjos was able to work back to the ground and keep Bradley down until the horn sounded. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for a unanimous decision victory for Dos Anjos.