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From ‘little donkey’ to UFC champion: How Rafael dos Anjos beat the odds

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The reigning UFC lightweight champion puts his title on the line July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but Rafael dos Anjos’ road to the top of the world started in 1993.

Dos Anjos was no different than any other kid in Fonseca, a traditional district in Niteroi, Brazil. A few miles away from the bridge that connects the city to Rio de Janeiro, he was a hyperactive boy who got interested in martial arts at eight years old. He’d watched his cousin Rodrigo Souza train capoeira at the Henrique Lage school, but it was seeing kids grapple over in his neighborhood that caught his attention.

Dos Anjos immediately fell in love with it. He liked it so much that he would skip classes for it. Rosane dos Anjos, his mother, worked all day to provide for the family, and didn’t notice that her son changed his routine for months.

“I think I spent six months without going to school for classes,” dos Anjos remembers. “I walked straight by it to go train jiu-jitsu. When I had money I took the bus, or would ride a bike or even walk to the gym. It was far away from my house, like eight miles or something. I always found a way to get there. My mother was very busy, she worked a lot, so she wouldn’t notice it. I skipped class one day to train, went normally the other, and then would skip two or three days of school. My mother was very busy. She had other problems to deal with, so she didn’t even notice it.”

His first jiu-jitsu teacher, Luis Carlos, was the first to bring his attention to fighting. Once a week, Carlos would give dos Anjos and other kids boxing gloves and let them fight on ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting