Rafael dos Anjos has gone from losing his UFC lightweight title, to being a fight away a shot at the welterweight strap in a little over a year. He’ll fight Robbie Lawler in Winnipeg to determine who’s the next number one contender to challenge Tyron Woodley. It has Fight of the Night potential all over it and definitely could go down as a classic scrap, but they’ll be no heated build-up or public insults. The way Rafael dos Anjos thinks, we shouldn’t really need that. They’ll say all they need to each other inside the Octagon.
“I have to fight and get the best fight for me. The best guys are ahead of me and this new generation, they try to talk crap and attack others on social media. I’m glad to have this fight with Robbie [Lawler] because there’s no trash talk. It’s a man’s fight and that’s how I like to do it. We show our talk in the Octagon when we get locked in the cage, we talk with our fists.”
— UFC (@ufc) October 12, 2017
“[Tyron Woodley]’s the champion right now, but I think Tyron thinks that nobody can touch him. I think [Georges St-Pierre] did a lot and he defended his title a lot of times. I’ve been a champion before and I know getting there is really hard, but I know it’s even harder to keep the title. When you have a target on your back, everybody wants to take your spot. It what it is. Tyron is a good champion, but he just thinks nobody can touch him.” — Rafael dos Anjos speaking to The TSN MMA Show.
That’s right, young whippersnappers. They’ll be no Twitter wars or insults about each other’s parents. They’ll be no press conferences, no sound bytes. The only sound will be clack of leather and one of these warriors landing in a thud, or screaming out in pain from a submission. Rafael dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler throw down on December 16th and we’ll all like it.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/24/2017.