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’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 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. 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, lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to

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

Related News

Gegard Mousasi believes UFC favors fighters who speak English

  • 21 days ago

Gegard Mousasi has a lot to say about the state of the UFC's middleweight divisionCurrently scheduled to challenge former champion Vitor Belfort at UFC 204, longtime mixed martial arts veteran G read news >>

Dan Henderson believes he should be retiring as UFC middleweight champion

  • 18 days ago

Dan Henderson frustrated after feeling like he did enough to beat Michael Bisping read news >>

Michael Johnson believes he's just the type of guy who can upset Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 205

  • 17 days ago

Things hadn’t really been going Michael Johnson’s way, but when he turned them around, he turned them around big-time. Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>

Remember When Rafael dos Anjos Beat Nate Diaz? (Free Fight) |

  • 15 days ago

Before winning the belt from Anthony Pettis, Rafael dos Anjos defeated Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in 2014. read news >>

Video: Before UFC Fight Night 98 headliner, watch Rafael dos Anjos top Nate Diaz

  • 13 days ago

It was the fight that set up Rafael dos Anjos for his long-awaited title shot, and you can now watch it in its entirety.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC champ Conor McGregor responds to $150,000 fine from NSAC: 'Good luck trying to get it'

  • 13 days ago

Conor McGregor believes the punishment levied on him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission was way overboard, and his response will be to avoid all fights in Nevada for the “foreseeable future.”Fil read news >>

Nate Diaz calls out Conor McGregor for trilogy fight

  • 10 days ago

Conor McGregor believes Nate Diaz took so much damage in their second fight at UFC 202 that it would be in his best interest to leave it at 1-1.Don't expect Conor McGregor to challenge Nate Diaz read news >>

Dana White Talks About Anderson Silva Being 'Mistreated'

  • 10 days ago

Dana White believes Anderson Silva's recent comments on being disrespected by the UFC are ridiculous.Following Jose Aldo, MMA legend Anderson Silva has become the latest Brazilian fighter to ope read news >>

Caraway shoulders blame for Tate's title loss, believes she's better fighter than Nunes

  • 10 days ago

UFC bantamweight contender Bryan Caraway has long served as girlfriend Miesha Tate’s head coach. And while Caraway is certainly prone to his fair share of criticism as a fighter, he’s heaping some up read news >>

Rafael dos Anjos Doesn't Want Conor McGregor, He Wants His Belt Back |

  • 4 days ago

Rafael dos Anjos isn't hunting a fight with Conor McGregor, the former UFC lightweight champion wants his belt back. read news >>