Earlier this year, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos decided to move up in weight and test the waters at 170 pounds. Since then, he’s won two straight bouts, scoring a decision win over Tarec Saffiedine last June, and a submission victory over Neil Magny last month.
Now back to his winning ways, dos Anjos has established himself as a legitimate threat in the welterweight division, which is why he isn’t interested in facing off with Kamaru Usman, who recently called him out:
“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.”
“Even his manager said I deserve to fight for the title,” dos Anjos added, “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.”
As far as a title shot goes, RDA says that he was chosen as a backup plan had something went wrong with Tyron Woodley’s UFC 214 title defense against Demian Maia. Now, he feels as if the title shot should be his:
“(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.”
Over the last year, Woodley has defended his title three times, twice against striking specialist Stephen Thompson, and once again Maia. Dos Anjos, however, believes he could offer Woodley a different type of challenge:
“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.”
Would you like to see Woodley and dos Anjos square off next?