Rafael dos Anjos served notice to the entire UFC lightweight division that he is a contender. The Brazilian floored former champion Benson Henderson, earning a first round victory in the main event of UFC Fight Night 49.
The stoppage loss by strikes was the first of Henderson's career, as "Smooth" was looking to remain the next contender to the title. That belt, currently worn by Anthony Pettis, will be defended later this year or early in 2015 against Gilbert Melendez.
Dos Anjos (22-7) has rebounded from a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov that snapped a five-fight win streak by besting Jsson High and now Henderson. He is 11-3 in his last 14 fights overall. Henderson (21-4) is 2-2 in his past four bouts.
In other action, Jordan Mein and Thales Leites both picked up finishes, defeating Mike Pyle and Francis Carmont, on the main card. Dos Anjos, Mein, Leites and Ben Saunders all earned "Performance of the Night" bonuses and $50,000. Complete results can be found below:
Rafael dos Anjos def. Benson Henderson via KO (strike) at 2:31 of Round 1
Jordan Mein def. Mike Pyle via TKO (strikes) at 1:12 of Round 1
Thales Leites def. Francis Carmont via KO (strike) at :20 of Round 2
Max Holloway def. Clay Collard via TKO (strikes) at 3:47 of Round 3
James Vick def. Valmir Lazaro via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Chas Skelly def. Tom Niinimaki via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:35 of Round 1
Neil Magny def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Beneil Dariush def. Tony Martin via submission (head-and-arm choke) at 3:38 of Round 2
Matt Hobar def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ben Saunders def. Chris Heatherly via submission (Omoplata) at 2:18 of Round 1
Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)