Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos expects Alexander Volkanovski to do the unthinkable at UFC 284 this Saturday in Perth, Australia.
Dos Anjos is hungry to return to the octagon after a successful leap back into the win column in December last year at UFC Orlando. The Brazilian scored a second-round submission over Bryan Barberena.
Finding matchups consistently has been a problem for dos Anjos in the past, and it is still a reoccurring issue.
“My goal was to return in March or April, but it’s not easy to find opponents,” dos Anjos told Sherdog.com. “The UFC offered some guys I already fought and some others that I had to look on Google to find out who they were.”
The frustration continues for the 46-fight veteran who proceeds to train every day, awaiting a call from the UFC. With the upper echelon of the welterweight division booked, it’s uncertain when the 38-year-old will return to competition.
Rafael dos Anjos left frustrated
“I also suggested [Stephen] Thompson, but it looks like he wants to fight strikers, and I did a lot of grappling against Barbarena,” dos Anjos said. “Since Colby [Covington] must face Belal [Muhammad], [Jorge] Masvidal is paired with [Gilbert Burns] and [Kevin] Holland with [Santiago] Ponzinibbio, I’m pretty much waiting for another UFC suggestion. When I decided to return to welterweight, I reduced my camps to five or six weeks since I stay in shape training every day.”
Dos Anjos weighed in on the rumoured bout between Charles Oliveira and his close friend Beneil Dariush. Despite Oliveira being a credentialed BJJ specialist, dos Anjos feels ‘Do Bronx’ best chances of winning are on the feet.
“I would say the best chances for ‘Do Bronx’ are in the stand up. Beny evolved a lot his wrestling and his ground game is tough. If UFC confirms it, that one will be a hell of a fight,” he said.
When discussing Saturday night’s monumental champion versus champion super-fight at UFC 284, dos Anjos fails to understand why Volkanovski is such a huge underdog.
“I disagree. I see Volkanovski with a real chance to surprise Islam,” he said. “The guy already weighed more than 200 pounds. I think he will shock the world on Saturday and win on points.”
Having prepared for Islam Makhachev on more than one occasion, dos Anjos believes the fight’s outcome will be determined by if Volkanovski has brought in elite judo players.
“It’s important to note that Makhachev doesn’t use wrestling. His throws are basically from judo,’”dos Anjos said. I did two camps to fight him and [Andre] Pederneiras brought a couple of top judo guys to help me. At the beginning of the camp I never took so many throws. By the end, when I evolved my defense, everything changed. I hope Volkanovski trained with judo guys. If he did, he has a great chance to avoid takedowns and dominate Islam on the feet with his speed.”
Quotes via Sherdog
Do you agree with Rafael dos Anjos? Are you backing Alexander Volkanovski to pull off an upset an UFC 284? Let us know in the comments!