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UFC 215 undercard recap: Former champ Dos Anjos submits Magny

Welterweight Rafael dos Anjos submitted Neil Magny (19-6) via arm-triangle choke at UFC 215. Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

EDMONTON -- Rafael dos Anjos' quest to become a two-weight UFC champion took a major step forward Saturday, as he submitted Neil Magny (19-6) via arm-triangle choke at 3:43 of the opening round at UFC 215.

A former lightweight champion turned welterweight, dos Anjos (27-9) took Magny down early and patiently advanced position until he locked in the arm-triangle. The 170-pound bout co-headlined UFC 215 inside Rogers Place.

It is dos Anjos's first submission win since May 2012.

"Man, I'm coming for that belt," dos Anjos said. "I'm the former lightweight champion and I'm coming for that welterweight belt."

Dos Anjos, 32, lost the 155-pound championship to Eddie Alvarez midway through last year. He stayed at lightweight for one more fight, a loss to Tony Ferguson, before moving up to 170 pounds. He said his body was no longer reacting to the weight cut.

The Brazilian is now 2-0 since the move, with wins over Magny and Tarec Saffiedine. Magny, who fights out of Colorado, is a huge feather in his cap. At one point, Magny had won 10 of 11 in the weight class.


Henry Cejudo looks outstanding in second-round knockout

Henry Cejudo (11-2) picked up his first win in nearly two years, as he starched Wilson Reis (22-8) with a right hand and finished him with strikes on the ground.

Cejudo, 30, mixed up his offense well -- so much so he had Reis blitzing him at times. The counter right landed during one of those, and Cejudo followed with a clean left hand that stopped the fight 25 seconds into the second round.

Afterward, Cejudo had a very brief exchange with champion Demetrious Johnson, who was sitting cageside. Johnson knocked Cejudo out in a title fight last year.

"I just gave him the thumbs up," Cejudo said with a laugh. "I've only been fighting five years now. I'm just scratching the surface. I want to fight for the title again, eventually."

Reis, of Brazil, is a former title contender, as well, but he looked lost against the former Olympic-gold-medal wrestler. Cejudo's hand speed was a clearly a factor, and he scored moving forward and on the counter.

Fightmetric counted just five total strikes for Reis, compared to 39 for Cejudo. The Mexican American flyweight bounces back from consecutive losses, to Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. Reis, meanwhile, drops his second fight in a row.


Stephens pulverizes Melendez with kicks, earns decision

Featherweight Jeremy Stephens (26-14) put on absolute clinic against Gilbert Melendez (22-7), battering Melendez's legs with kicks until he was unable to stand.

All three judges awarded Stephens' effort, scoring the fight 30-25, 30-26 and 30-26.

Melendez's lead left leg looked terrible from the opening minute. An enormous welt emerged on his shin and forced him to switch stances. He fell down from leg kicks in each round. By the end of the fight, it was clear he could put absolutely no weight on it.

Stephens, who fights out of San Diego, mixed in effective uppercuts and body punches, but the leg kicks were what stood out. The 31-year-old picked up his first win of 2017, for which he delayed his wedding.

Melendez, of San Francisco, drops to 0-4 in his past four fights. The former Strikeforce 155-pound champion dropped down to 145 pounds for the first time for this bout.


Latifi cruises to decision over Australian prospect Pedro

Swedish light heavyweight Ilir Latifi (13-5) rebounded from a devastating knockout in his previous fight, out-pointing Aussie Tyson Pedro (6-1) via unanimous decision.

Pedro, 25, had some success with his length, utilizing front kicks to keep Latifi on the outside. But the more-experienced Latifi eventually closed the gap and took Pedro down in every round, en route to 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 scores.

Latifi also out-struck Pedro 77 to 38. He landed several hard, right-hand counters after catching Pedro kicks. Pedro opened a small cut over Latifi's left eye, but it did not seem to affect him.

It was Latifi's first appearance since a scary, one-knee-knockout loss to Ryan Bader on September 2016. He is now 4-1 in his past five. Pedro falls to 2-1 in the UFC.


Title hopeful McMann stunned, taps to Vieira arm-triangle

Brazilian bantamweight Ketlen Vieira (9-0) scored a stunning submission upset over former title challenger Sara McMann (11-4), who was potentially knocking on the door of a second title shot. McMann, 36, looked dominant early as she took Vieira down and moved quickly to full mount. She unloaded a barrage of punches from that position but never came close to getting a finish, and she was eventually shucked off by Vieira.

An Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, McMann went back to the takedown in the second round but had trouble securing it. Vieira scored a takedown of her own and moved into half-guard, where she eventually finished the fight with an arm-triangle at the 4:16 mark.

The 26-year-old Brazilian moves to 3-0 in the UFC. McMann sees a three-fight win streak snapped.