It’s a bit ironic that Rafael dos Anjos believes the best thing for his career was moving from Brazil to the United States – yet now one of the biggest sources of motivation for him is the chance to go back there to fight.

Dos Anjos (18-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) will square off with Evan Dunham (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) later this month in a pivotal lightweight bout at UFC on FX 8. Dunham is ranked No. 15 in USA TODAY and MMAjunkie.com’s latest 155-pound rankings, and dos Anjos is just behind him.

UFC on FX 8 takes place May 18 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The event’s main-card airs on FX following prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook.

After starting his UFC career 0-2, dos Anjos has been on a 7-2 run, including wins over high-end names like Terry Etim, George Sotiropoulos, Anthony Njokuani and Mark Bocek. But with three straight wins, a win over Dunham might be his biggest victory yet – especially considering Dunham called him out.

“He beat two guys who beat me before,” dos Anjos told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “Maybe he thinks just because he beat those guys, he can beat me, too. I want to prove to him that he’s wrong.”

Dos Anjos hasn’t fought in Brazil since he signed with the UFC, and he’s glad to be part of what has been a highly successful return for the promotion to the South American cradle of MMA.

“I’m so happy to fight in Brazil again,” he said. “My last fight in Brazil was 2008, so I’m so excited for this fight. The UFC in Brazil now is so famous, and I’m excited to get there and put on a good show.”

But continuing to live and train in his home country just wasn’t in the cards for the 28-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

Instead, he uprooted his life there and, with his wife and two kids, moved to the States. He said the impact on his MMA game has been all positive now that he’s training primarily in Southern California.

“When I was in Brazil, I had many problems at my old gym,” he said. “Many guys didn’t show up to train and I had to train by myself many times. So that’s why I decided to come here to train. I train with the best gyms here – my wrestling with Jacob Harman, I train my muay Thai with Master Rafael Cordeiro. I’ve got great partners here, great coaches and I think it was a really smart decision when I decided to come here. Here, there’s always someone wanting to help you.”

Dos Anjos knows Dunham likely will be a more than game opponent for him. The Oregon native started his career 11-0 before a controversial split-decision loss to Sean Sherk, and though he’s gone just 3-2 since then with losses to Melvin Guillard and T.J. Grant, he always comes to fight – including three “Fight of the Night” bonuses to show for his efforts.

“He’s a tough opponent and he’s got a big heart,” dos Anjos said. “But I’ve been training so hard. I’ve got a goal in my life. I’m training as hard as I can and I’m going to go 100 percent and I will win this fight for sure. I’ve been training my standup and wrestling, my BJJ. He’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, too. And he’s good at wrestling. But I think I’ve got a better all-around game, I move around better in the cage, I’ve got better footwork. And I’ll use my speed – that’s the game plan.”

Dunham will be fighting dos Anjos with the crowd against him, like so many American fighters before him who have ventured into Brazil to fight a Brazilian.

And while there may be pressure on Dunham in enemy territory, there sometimes can be just as much pressure on the hometown fan favorite. But dos Anjos doesn’t believe that’s likely to make much difference, at least not where he’s concerned.

“Many of my friends are going to be there, but I feel no pressure,” he said. “I’m not an emotional fighter. I’ll be there, and I’m going to do my job, same as the last time.”

For the latest on UFC on FX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Wanderlei Silva calls out-of-competition testing unconstitutional: An athlete has the right to a private life

  • 23 days ago
  • 0 views

Former UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva believes the UFC’s recently implemented random drug testing policy is unconstitutional. Several months ago, following a slew of unexpected drug test failures, the U read news >>

Urijah Faber questions Conor McGregor’s heart: ‘If his body is in danger, he gives up’

  • 23 days ago
  • 344 views

UFC star Urijah Faber believes Conor McGregor lacks heart and checks out of fights when he is in trouble. According to Urijah Faber, when the going gets tough, Conor McGregor is the first one to look read news >>

Georges St-Pierre after training with Freddie Roach: 'I'm getting the itch' to come back

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

Freddie Roach says he believes GSP will return for at least one more fight. Georges St. Pierre recently spent time training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. As he worked with the legendary boxing read news >>

Max Holloway on UFC title challenger Conor McGregor: 'I'd do anything for that rematch'

  • 25 days ago
  • 263 views

Max Holloway believes he’s one of a few fighters that have the respect of outspoken UFC featherweight Conor McGregor – both in and out of the octagon.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson confident he could beat Anthony Johnson ‘six days out of seven’

  • 25 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC light-heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson still believes he would beat Anthony Johnson on most occasions. Just a few months ago, Alexander Gustafsson went from perennial contender in the light-heavy read news >>

Luke Rockhold Slams 'Cheater' Anderson Silva, Discusses UFC Drug Testing

  • 26 days ago
  • 44 views

UFC middleweight Luke Rockhold believes Anderson Silva and every fighter in the organisation should receive a four-year suspension if they are found guilty of doping. Silva failed drug tests before a read news >>

In RFA 25 headliner, Sam Toomer believes he's fighting Justin Lawrence for UFC contract

  • 26 days ago
  • 3 views

Undefeated featherweight Sam Toomer has an opportunity to collect some gold this Friday night when he faces Justin Lawrence for the RFA featherweight title at RFA 25.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, read news >>

Ben Askren believes that a move to the UFC 'probably never will happen'

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

Top welterweight fighter Ben Askren has had some well-publicized disagreements with UFC president Dana White, and he thinks that a run in the promotion just isn't in the cards. Ben Askren is one of t read news >>

Rafael Dos Anjos says Khabib Nurmagomedov 'just held me down'

  • 28 days ago
  • 19 views

Following a warm welcome back home in Brazil after stealing the show from Anthony Pettis at UFC 185, Rafael Dos Anjos reflected on his shortcomings against Khabib Nurmagomedov last year. As one of th read news >>