After losing back-to-back fights in 2016, including a championship bout opposite Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90 this past July, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos is making a move up to 170 pounds. RDA announced the divisional transition earlier today (Fri., Jan. 6, 2017) via Twitter:
I reached the top of LW,it's been a hard journey make weight every time,now I want to fight at my best,I have new goals, I'm moving to WW— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 6, 2017
Dos Anjos, 32, was considered one of the most dominant champions in UFC lightweight history just one year ago after defending his title for the first time with a 66-second TKO win over Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17. Before that, the Brazilian leveled then-champion Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision at UFC 185 to claim the title.
With less of a weight cut in front of him, it's plausible that RDA will be more explosive and offensively dominant in the welterweight division. But as a smaller 170-pound fighter, he'll most likely relinquish the strength advantage he possessed as a lightweight. Cerrone has dominated the welterweight scrap since joining the division after his loss to RDA in 2015, so it will be interesting to see what the former lightweight king can do at his new home this year.