Former lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos will make the move to welterweight at UFC Singapore.
UFC officials on Monday, as first reported by Channel NewsAsia, announced that dos Anjos would square off with former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine at UFC Fight Night 111 on June 17 in Singapore.
The move to welterweight isn’t a big surprise, as dos Anjos (25-9) first revealed his decision to go up in weight in January.
“What made me move up to welterweight was all the effort I was doing, to look at my health and have a good life,” dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “I wanted to stop sacrificing so much. For how much I was making, it’s not worth doing all this effort and destroy my body.”
The move follows a lengthy successful run at lightweight for dos Anjos, who was 14-7 as a lightweight, capturing the lightweight championship with a win over Anthony Pettis in 2015. His reign was short-lived. dos Anjos defended the belt once against Donald Cerrone before losing back-to-back bouts to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson, which has led him to welterweight.
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Saffiedine (16-6) represents no easy task for dos Anjos’ divisional debut. The Belgian fighter was the outgoing Strikeforce welterweight titleholder when the promotion was swallowed by the UFC. He has struggled in the Octagon, however, amassing a 2-3 record. Like dos Anjos, he is coming off of two consecutive losses and is looking to get back on track.
UFC officials also announced on Monday that Naoki Inoue would make his promotional debut against URCC flyweight champion Carls John De Tomas in Singapore.
There had been no headliner announced for the event, as of the time of publication.