Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos, is confident he poses the biggest problems to reigning 155-pound roost-ruler, Charles Oliveira.
Dos Anjos, 36, flirted with the UFC Welterweight title scene after losing the 155-pound crown. RDA (No. 7) is realistic about his place on the Lightweight ladder ahead of a pivotal clash with Islam Makhachev (No. 5) at UFC 267, which will take place inside Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Oct. 30, 2021, streaming online via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV).
“This is my last shot,” dos Anjos told Ag Fight (transcription by Bloody Elbow). “I have to be a realist. I’m not close to retiring. I feel fine, training goes well and I have no joint injuries. I have 43 fights and I only lost one by knockout. I don’t get knocked out during training, I have good defense, my chin is good. I still have a lot of time left in my career. But I know that this change (moving to Brazil to train at Nova Uniao) is all about fighting for the title. I’m betting my chips that it’s going to work. My focus is to be the champion. This Makhachev fight, because of his hype and me being a former champion who’s coming off a win in his return to the division, it has title eliminator written all over it.
“Charles is in a good moment of his career,” dos Anjos continued. “The cool thing about his career is all the ups and downs he went through. That’s how champions are made. This is his moment, he’s the champion. But when I look at the rankings, I’m the trickiest guy for him to face. Because of my striking level, my jiu-jitsu and my pace. My focus is on Makhachev, but if I have a good win, which I know I will because this fight is not going the distance, I’ll be ready to see who’s the best Brazilian lightweight of all time.”
Dos Anjos is coming off a decision win over Paul Felder on Nov. 14, 2020, but has not won consecutive fights since 2017. He fell short against Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, Michael Chiesa, Tony Ferguson, Eddie Alvarez, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Gleison Tibau since 2011. His wins in that stretch include capturing the UFC Lightweight title against Anthony Pettis, plus wins over Felder, Kevin Lee, Robbie Lawler, Tarec Saffiedine, Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Jason High, Donald Cerrone, Evan Dunham, Mark Bocek, Anthony Njokuani, Kamal Shalorus and George Sotiropoulos.
UFC 267 is headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight title fight pitting Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira, as well as a UFC Bantamweight title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.
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