UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos really rocked the boat in the 155-pound division by beating Anthony Pettis. Many had ‘Showtime’ pegged for all-time greatness, but the Brazilian grappler-turned-striker made the title holder look leagues below him at UFC 185. ‘RDA’ ground Pettis in to a heap over five rounds, and won unanimously on the cards following his performance of a lifetime.
The win extended Dos Anjos’ streak to four, including a decision over Nate Diaz, and knockout wins over Benson Henderson and Jason High. ‘Smooth’, the former UFC lightweight champion himself, moved up to welterweight following his losses to ‘RDA’ and Donald Cerrone, winning an ultra impressive debut against Brandon Thatch. Proving size isn’t everything, ‘Bendo’ now plans on making welterweight his permanent home. Oddly enough, Dos Anjos is also considering that move, and quite soon. Check out what the current 155-pound boss told MMAJunkie.com:
“I just got my lightweight belt, I’m looking forward to defending it a couple of times, then maybe I’ll do some fights in the welterweight division in the future.”
“I think once I get older, I’m going to get tired of cutting weight. I could just go there and fight (at welterweight). I think that’s my goal. I’m going defend my belt a couple of times and maybe go to the welterweight division and do some superfights like Ben Henderson.”
I’m not sure you’d describe Henderson vs Thatch as a ‘superfight’, but I think you get the point. ‘RDA’ is not long for the lightweight division, meaning there’ll be another shake up in the weight class soon enough. He never looks too fresh on the day of the weigh-ins, although fighters rarely do, and clearly Dos Anjos has already thought long and hard about the eventual move up in weight. He continues:
“I think once you get older, you know how to fight already,” dos Anjos said. “You just go there and fight without having that extra stress of cutting weight. That’s my goal for the future.”
“I want to prove everyone that I’m not a champion by luck,” dos Anjos said. “I work hard, and I want to prove to everyone that I’m a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I just want to prove to everyone that I came to stay. I’m not here for one title defense. I came to stay.”
Time will tell as to whether ‘RDA’ can truly clear out the top end of the division, as a hungry Donald Cerrone awaits a rematch, only this time with the belt on the line. A lot has changed in ‘The Cowboy’ since the two first met in 2013; first and foremost, Cerrone has won eight straight fights with five coming by T/KO or submission.
If Dos Anjos can get through the contenders at lightweight, should he get an immediate shot at the welterweight belt? Further to that, could it be possible that both the 155-pound and 170-pound could be competed for? Many have dobted the Brazilian’s abilities in the past, but who knows, maybe we have the promotion’s first two-weight champion in our midsts. What do you think?