Rafael dos Anjos has been one of the UFC’s top lightweights for several years, and was the 155 champ not long ago, but he’ll be fighting at 170 from now on.
Recently dos Anjos announced that he’s decided to leave the 155 division behind and that he’s headed to welterweight, while speaking to Combate. The decision comes a couple months after RDA was decisioned by top contender Tony Ferguson in November. That loss followed RDA’s stoppage defeat to Eddie Alvarez in July, which ended the Brazilian’s reign as champion.
Dos Anjos spoke with MMA Fighting in a follow up interview, and while doing so, the 32 year-old said this:
“My body changed between 2014 and 2015,” dos Anjos said. “I fought five times in 11 months, during that run for the title. I don’t see anyone doing this. I see Cerrone doing this, but I don’t see other doing this. I walk around with 187, 198 pounds, easy, and to cut this weight five times in 11 months was too much.
“I eat well, but after that I felt that my body got bigger. I was holding the weight more. It was tough to make weight against Cerrone, and I passed out three times making weight for the Eddie Alvarez fight. One day you get to the limit.”
Wow. Clearly it sounds like dos Anjos needed to make a change. It will be interesting to see, however, whether he can make a title run at 170. At 5’9, dos Anjos doesn’t give up a ton of reach and or height against the likes of Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley etc, but will his power carry over?
Who knows? Maybe a third scrap with Donald Cerrone will materialize over the coming months?