Over the weekend, on the main card of the UFC’s latest trip to Singapore, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos jumped up to the welterweight division for a battle with former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine. Dos Anjos won this welterweight debut with a well-deserved unanimous decision.
Speaking to the media shortly after his win, dos Anjos explained how he felt at welterweight
“It wasn’t even close to [as hard as] it was to make 155,” dos Anjos said (h/t MMAJunkie.com). “I can’t say it was easy, but compared to 155, it was easy. I was 180 (pounds) today. But (I was) feeling strong and feeling fast, and that’s what I’m looking for. My health comes first.”
Dos Anjos then explained that, while he’s got a few opponents in mind for his next fight, he’s happy to take his time on the road to the welterweight title.
“I want to fight again before the end of this year,” he said. “There’s many guys. We have (Donald) Cerrone and Robbie Lawler. Tyron Woodley is fighting Demian Maia for the title. I don’t have anyone in mind, but I want to fight higher-ranked guys, and somebody who leads me to take a step up in the division. I don’t want to go backward.”
Dos Anjos then admitted that he feels he has a few adjustments still to make at 170.
“I’ve reached the top, and right now at welterweight, I feel like I have to make some adjustments. I will make those technically and be a better fighter at 170.”
“I don’t think I’m at the top of my game in this division, but I’m coming.”
Do you think Rafael dos Anjos can reach the top of the welterweight division as he did at lightweight? Weigh in in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/18/2017.