In just over two months, UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos will step into the Octagon with former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine for the former champ’s highly anticipated welterweight debut in Singapore.
Ahead of the fight, Dos Anjos is hoping to experience a bit of a career resurgence as he looks to snap a 2-fight skid that saw him lose the lightweight championship to Eddie Alvarez nearly a year ago, and then most recently drop a unanimous decision to top contender Tony Ferguson, who defeated Dos Anjos in November to cement his place among the top of the UFC’s lightweight division.
Dos Anjos recently spoke with Combate to discuss the upcoming fight, saying:
“I think Tarec is a tough guy, a former Strikeforce champion and a top 10 welterweight. It’s just the fight I needed. Saffiedine defeated big names, it’ll be good for me to get a win over a top 10 opponent.
“I’ll have to start all over again. That much is clear in my mind. I’ll have to rebuild everything I built at lightweight and it couldn’t be better than facing a former Strikeforce champion for my debut. I’ll be able to show everyone I came to this weight class to stay.”
When the former champ announced his move to welterweight several months ago, he initially was seeking a fight with either former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, or MMA veteran Nick Diaz, who is coming off a 5-year suspension.
While Diaz is now eligible to fight following his suspension for marijuana, the eldest Diaz Brother has reportedly been turning down fights according to UFC President Dana White. Robbie Lawler on the other hand was recently booked for a scrap with Donald Cerrone at UFC 213 in July.
Only time will tell if Dos Anjos makes waves at lightweight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/5/2017.