The fight takes place in at Singapore Indoor Stadium and although dos Anjos hails from Brazil and is currently living in California, Singapore is another home away from home for the former champion.
The former lightweight champion has spent a lot of time in Singapore starting back in 2008.
“My head coach’s brother opened a school there and that was back in 2008,” he said. “After I had my first UFC win, he made the connection and I went there to Evolve to train for a month. And after one month, I went back there in 2010 and I lived in Singapore for three months straight with my family. For my last title fight, I did half my camp in Singapore. It’s amazing. The people are so lovely and friendly and I get great training there at Evolve MMA. I love that place.”
With moving up to 170, dos Anjos is ready to take on the guys in the heavier weight class with a renewed energy.
“It feels like a fresh start,” he said. “I feel like I’m starting over. I had my 155 title run and I made it to the top, and now it’s time for new things. I decided to move up a weight class, it will be better for my health, it will be better for me in my life, and I’m excited for it.”
With not having to restrict his diet as much and worry about making 155, dos Anjos says that he will perform at a higher level at 170.
“I don’t have to put my body and mind under that stress anymore,” he said. “It’s so stressful and it’s not just fight week or the weeks before. It’s two, three months of stress. And another thing (beneficial about moving to welterweight) is that I’ll be able to push harder. I cannot be the biggest guy in the division, but you can be sure I will be the guy pushing harder. I will push the pace because at 170, my body will be fresh and I will be ready to push hard for three or five rounds.”
What are your thoughts on the UFC welterweight debut of Rafael dos Anjos as he takes on Tarec Saffiedine? Give us your prediction for the fight in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/26/2017