In a knockout filled event, Rafael Dos Anjos made sure the main event didn’t disappoint.

Rafael Dos Anjos had never fought in a main event bout in his six years at the UFC. On Saturday, Dos Anjos finally got that opportunity, and made the most of it by knocking out former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the first round of their five round non-title fight at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The stunning upset capped a night filled with knockouts as the last four fights in the main card of UFC Fight Night 49 ended in knockouts. But none was more shocking than the loss of Henderson, who was ranked #1 in the UFC’s lightweight division. He was on a two fight winning streak since losing the title to Anthony Pettis at UFC 164 last August 2013.

All About Dos Anjos

The night was all about the 29 year old Dos Anjos who displayed his much improved striking game. Training with the famed striking coach Rafael Cordeiro, the UFC’s 5th ranked lightweight showed very fast combinations that were punctuated by crisp shots. The Brazilian Jiu Jistsu black belt secured his second consecutive KO victory, and his fourth overall.

Dos Anjos has won seven of his last eight bouts, and his only loss during that run has been a unanimous decision loss to undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov last April.

Minor Controversy

Dos Anjos rocked Henderson with a left hook near the two minute mark of round one, and as Bendo backed up, Dos Anjos followed it up with a flying knee that slammed Henderson’s chin.  The former champion dropped and attempted a takedown to slow down Dos Anjos but it mas muffed by the Brazilian.

When Henderson tried to get back to his feet, Dos Anjos caught him with a left hook that knocked him down along the fence. Sensing a finish, Dos Anjos followed it up with another left hook to the chin of Henderson whose hands were down. This prompted referee Big John McCarthy to waive off the bout at 2:31 of round 1.

Although Dos Anjos said that Henderson went out, the former champ was still conscious when Big John stepped in. He immediately jumped up to his feet and pleaded with McCarthy but the fight had already been stopped.

After the bout, Henderson said that he was “clear-headed” but accepted the defeat by saying “it is what it is.” Henderson dropped to 9-2 in the UFC and has been 2-2 in his last four fights. Henderson won the UFC lightweight belt in 2012 and defended it three times before losing to Pettis last year.

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