Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington’s UFC 224 interim welterweight title fight, which was first reported by BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor, is now a done deal. The bout is expected to be announced by the UFC any minute now, while both fighters will participate in a press conference in Brooklyn, NY this Friday.
Speaking with Helen Yee this week, dos Anjos explained his motivation for taking this fight, which will occur in his native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Apparently, the main appeal was that an interim title win guarantees him a shot at undisputed champ Tyron Woodley in his next fight.
“I was waiting to fight Woodley, but I was told Woodley was only able to fight [at the] end of the year, around November, December, and I can’t wait that long,” Dos Anjos said. “My last fight against [Robbie] Lawler was in December of 2017, I can’t wait one year to fight Woodley. I have kids and I need to keep going with my career, and Colby Covington is the next guy in the line, especially for the interim title. The guarantee that I have for this fight is that I’m fighting Woodley next. That’s the most meaning of the interim belt for me, is that I have the fight against Woodley for sure next.”
Of course, dos Anjos is also hoping to teach a lesson to Covington, who has recently bad-mouthed the country of Brazil and its people.
“It’ll be good to be [in Rio de Janeiro] performing, especially against this kind of guy,” he said. “He’s been talking bad about the Brazilians, and talking a lot of crap. And I’ll just go there and shut his mouth.”
Given the way Covington has berated the Brazilian people, some fans worry he won’t be in safe in Brazil. Dos Anjos has obviously heard these worries, and is asking his countrymen to allow him to take care of the American.
“I’m going to teach him some respect,” he said. “It’s about being humble and respecting people’s country. You can’t go to somebody else’s country and offend everybody else. He called people ‘filthy animals,’ but I’m going to ask the Brazilian crowd to let this [be] on my hands. I’m going to take care of business.”
Who do you think will come out on top in Colby Covington and Rafael dos Anjos’s UFC 224 interim title fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/3/2018.