After dropping his second straight loss at lightweight in 2016, Rafael dos Anjos announced that he would be making the jump up to welterweight in hopes of experiencing a bit of a career resurgence.
The former lightweight champ explained that over the course of his two losses in 2016, he continued to experience struggles making the lightweight title fight limit of 140 pounds.
“I’m killing myself to make 155, and [without the championship] I’m not making much money,” Dos Anjos said. “I would make 155 pounds for a super fight or something, but for what I’m making today? No, it’s not worth making 155.”
Now, the former champ has named several potential opponents for his potential 170 pound debut, explaining in an interview with MMAJunkie:
“I think Robbie Lawler is a good name and a fight that interests me,” dos Anjos (25-9 MMA, 14-7 UFC) told MMAjunkie. “Nick Diaz. I think I can beat these guys for sure. Those are some of the names on my mind right now.”
“Welterweight is a different division, but I’m not fighting light at welterweight,” dos Anjos said. “Everything I want to do in my life, I want to be at the top. Now I’m at welterweight, and I want to fight the best guys.”
“I want to fight in Brazil,” he said. “I just heard about the show with (Max) Holloway and (Jose) Aldo (at UFC 212). My last fight in Rio was in 2007, and I would love to have a chance to fight in my hometown again.”
“I think I deserve it because of my history, because of what I did for the sport.”
Only time will tell if the former lightweight champ is able to secure himself a spot on June 3rd’s UFC 212 fight card in Brazil, where Jose Aldo and Max Holloway will fight for the undisputed featherweight title.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/16/2017.