On Saturday night, in the main event of UFC Rochester, former UFC lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos corrected a two-fight losing streak, submitting Kevin Lee in a welterweight contender bout.
Dos Anjos has never lost more than two fights in a row, so the pressure was high heading into this fight. To say he’s relieved to have returned to winning ways would be a bit of an understatement.
“My debut in the UFC, I lost two in a row,” dos Anjos said after the win (via MMA Fighting). “Before I moved up a division, I lost two in a row, and I’m not gonna lie to you guys. I was under a lot of pressure. But it’s good to be back in the winning path.”
With this victory over Kevin Lee, Rafael dos Anjos has reinserted his name into the welterweight contendership conversation. He says the title is still his goal, and when he’s no longer confident he can win it, he’ll hang up the gloves.
“Kevin, he’s a tough guy, but he wasn’t ranked,” dos Anjos said. “He came up a division now and I think that was a good fight to put me on the winning path. I see the interim champion will fight the champion right now, probably. I’m just open. I’m not sticking too much with the rankings right now, but I have this desire in me.
“I want to be champion one day and if I don’t believe that I’m not gonna be a champion, I’m gonna stop fighting. I’m gonna quit this sport. I still believe I can make it and I’m going to work. I’m working hard on it.”
“I needed that [win tonight]. My last win inside the Octagon was 18 months ago against Robbie Lawler, December 2017. I feel great, it’s a big weight off of my back.”
What do you think the future holds for Rafael dos Anjos after UFC Rochester?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/19/2019.