Top-ranked lightweight contender Rafael dos Anjos’ journey to a world title fight began in 2008 when he made his octagon debut at UFC 91. Despite being defeated in his first two bouts for the promotion, the Brazilian fought his way up the ladder.
Although he stumbled against Khabib Nurmagomedov early last year, dos Anjos has won eight of his last nine bouts. His three most recent victories were against Jason High, Benson Henderson, and Nate Diaz, putting him in position for a title shot.
Dos Anjos challenges lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the UFC 185 main event in Dallas on Saturday riding high on his current streak. From the first time the 30-year-old stepped into a gym, winning a world title was always the goal.
“I’ve been training my whole life for this day. I’m very blessed to be in this position fighting for the title. I’ve been in the UFC for long years, eighteen fights. I’m really looking forward to getting my belt. I’ve finally got my chance, and I’m really confident,” said dos Anjos during a recent press conference.
The No.1-ranked UFC lightweight’s loss to Nurmagomedov in April of 2014 is one that he desperately wants to avenge. He intends to defeat Pettis on Saturday and have his first title defense against the Russian, who is scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 187 in May.
“That’s my plan, to beat Pettis. I respect him a lot. He’s a great champion, but I’m pretty sure that I will beat him,” said dos Anjos. “I’m not going to die with that loss against Khabib. I want a rematch and to defend my title against him.”