After two straight losses, former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos has announced his intention to head north to the welterweight division. Dos Anjos made this announcement on his official Twitter account on Friday morning.
See his rather surprising announcement below:
I reached the top of LW,it's been a hard journey make weight every time,now I want to fight at my best,I have new goals, I'm moving to WW
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 6, 2017
“I reached the top of [lightweight],” he said. “It’s been a hard journey make weight every time, now I want to fight at my best, I have new goals, I’m moving to [welterweight].
The first loss of Dos Anjos’ recent skid occurred in July, when his reign as UFC lightweight champion crumbled under a swarm of Eddie Alvarez punches. Several months later, in the main event of the UFC’s latest trip to Mexico, Dos Anjos attempted to get back on track with a win over streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson. Regrettably for the former champ and his fans, he came up short, surrendering a unanimous decision to Ferguson after five, action packed rounds of fighting.
While his recent losses are surely the main reason for his planned move to welterweight, Dos Anjos also sites a longstanding difficulty cutting down to the lightweight division’s 155-pound limit as an incentive to change weight classes. He’ll certainly have a much easier time making the welterweight division’s 170-pound cap.
As of now, it is unknown who will be tasked with welcoming Dos Anjos to the welterweight division, though his status as one of the greatest lightweights ever will almost certainly earn him a big-name opponent in his divisional debut. Whether Dos Anjos can emulate the welterweight success of fellow former lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who he mauled in just over a minute in 2015, remains to be seen.
How do you think Rafael Dos Anjos will fare at 170 pounds? Do you think he’s capable of becoming a contender like Cowboy, or is he doomed for a rude awakening? Sound off in the comments section, PENN Nation!