Fresh off his first stoppage win at welterweight, Rafael dos Anjos wants no business with fighters ranked below him.
The former UFC lightweight champion needed less than four minutes to submit Neil Magny at UFC 215. Now “better adapted to the division,” dos Anjos is expecting a shot at the champion Tyron Woodley next, and that’s why he’s not interested in fighters like Kamaru Usman.
Usman scored an impressive knockout victory over Sergio Moraes earlier this month, and called out dos Anjos for a UFC 218 fight on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“I just beat the No. 6 in the division and I’m currently at No. 5, it doesn’t make any sense to fight the No. 10,” dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “I understand that everyone is trying to promote themselves to get interesting fights, but I’m worried about fighters who are ahead of me.”
dos Anjos is currently on vacation after fighting twice since June, and said that Dec. 2 would be “too soon” for him, “and like I said, I’m only worried about fighters ahead of me,” dos Anjos added.
Usman is unbeaten in the UFC, holding a perfect 6-0 record after competing on The Ultimate Fighter 21, and criticized dos Anjos for asking for a title shot after just two wins at welterweight.
“Even his manager said I deserve to fight for the title,” dos Anjos responded, “so I don’t know why he’s worried about me. I’m a former champion, I’m in the UFC for almost 10 years, and this kid just got here the other day. Relax, man, mind your own business and don’t cut the line.”
It’s still unclear who will get the next shot at Woodley, who defeated Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson via decision after taking the belt away from Robbie Lawler. “RDA,” who was offered a shot at the gold as a backup plan in case Maia wouldn’t take the fight on short notice at UFC 214, believes he has done enough already to fight “The Chosen One”.
“(UFC matchmaker Sean) Shelby called me after my fight in Singapore offering the fight with Woodley. I accepted it right away, and I believe this win over Magny put me in a much better position,” dos Anjos said. “I’m ready to fight the champion and I don’t see any other guy in the division that can beat him.
“Everyone else ahead of me already lost to the champion or to the last contender, Demian Maia, so since I’m a former champion, and I’m undefeated at welterweight, I believe the next chance should be mine.”
Woodley is 8-2-1 since joining the UFC in 2013, and both of the guys that beat him are no longer on the UFC roster (Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields). dos Anjos believes he’s the one to dethrone the American Top Team star, as he says he poses a bigger threat than his recent challengers.
“He was only worried about the striking against ‘Wonderboy’ and only worried about not going to the ground with Demian, but he will be confused with me,” the Brazilian said. “I’ll take him out of his comfort zone, and he will have to work twice as hard.”