After an eight-year stint as a UFC lightweight, former champion Rafael dos Anjos is looking to be on top of the welterweight division.
After his recent string of losses as a lightweight fighter, Rafael dos Anjos moved up 15 pounds heavier at welterweight. His first assignment will be against Tarec Saffiedine, whom he will be facing at UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Correia in Singapore.
Dos Anjos did experience a rough patch in his career before he won the lightweight belt in 2015. As he now aims to make waves at 170-pounds, the 32-year-old UFC veteran has his sights set on a second world title, which he believes is within his reach.
“I believe that a win would put me in the top 10,” dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “When you fight the champion and win, you become the champion. If you beat the No. 10 (ranked fighter), you become the No. 10. I think (the win) puts me in this mix, and that’s my goal.”
“No rush, but my goal is the welterweight belt. I think I have what it takes to get there. But I’ll do at welterweight what I did at lightweight, no rush. I’ll slowly get there. I have the qualities to get there. But a win over Tarec Saffiedine will definitely put me in this mix.”
Dos Anjos had previously stated that his move to welterweight was mainly because he was “killing himself” to make the cut down to the 155-pound mark. Another one of his reasons, apparently, is the feeling that he had already reached his peak at lightweight.
“I didn’t leave my division to go after easier fights. I left the division because I had already reached the top, became champion, and health is the top priority,” dos Anjos said. “Some fighters leave their divisions or cut down in weight to go after easier fights, but I left the division for my health because my body reached its limit.”
UFC Fight Night 111 takes place on June 17th.