In beginning of July, on a hot summer night in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Brazilian mixed martial artist Rafael Dos Anjos' five-fight win streak was finally stopped.
Dos Anjos had competed twelve times in the UFC since his last appearance under the neon lights and concrete of Las Vegas.
Exactly one week had past since Rafael Dos Anjos lost his UFC lightweight title, when long-time Fightland contributor Stefan Kocev ran into the former champ in Yosemite National Park—somewhere along the Mist Trail in California.
While practicing Wim Hof's cold water breathing techniques, RDA appeared near the falls with his family. He entered the water, started to do some breathing exercises of his own, and meditated.
It's rare to catch a glimpse into the time directly following a fight—especially a loss—when a martial artist is recharging their spirit. After introducing himself, Rafael was gracious enough to allow us to capture the scene.
See more of Stefan's work for Fightland here.
The Mixed Martial Arts of Victorian London
Before BJJ, there was Bartitsu.
Jonathan Maicelo: The Last Inca
Peru's up-and-coming boxing star.
Kron Gracie on Jiu-Jitsu, Skateboarding, Older Brothers, and Famous Fathers
The ties that bind are strong.
Joel Tudor on the Art of Surfing, Fighting, and Style
A surf icon helps MMA keep its sense of tradition.
Japan's Karate Kid: Kyoji Horiguchi
Japan's brightest MMA prospect.