This Saturday, March 14th, Evolve MMA Fight Team member Rafael Dos Anjos, or RDA, finally gets his shot at the UFC Lightweight title. It won’t be easy – he’ll have to take the belt from Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, who’s successfully defended the title against Gilbert Melendez via guillotine in the 2nd round.
According to an interview with MMAfighting.com, Dos Anjos believes Pettis is “not unbeatable”. Although the odds are in Pettis’ favor, here’s why Evolve Daily thinks Dos Anjos stands a good chance against Pettis:
1) He has serious knockout power.
One word: ‘Smooth’. Remember how RDA knocked him out in the first round? He’s been the only man in UFC history to do so, which is pretty scary stuff for someone who’s only started working on his striking abilities. He’s also becoming known as a Muay Thai specialist, delivering a barrage of low leg kicks on Diaz. His last opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov admits “Dos Anjos is no easy man. It was no easy fight.” In fact, he believes, without a doubt that Dos Anjos is more than capable of smashing Pettis.
2) He is surrounded by a great team in both Evolve MMA and Kings MMA.
Dos Anjos attributes all his success to his training camps across the globe: from Evolve MMA in Singapore to Gordo Jiu-jitsu in Rio de Janeiro and Kings MMA in California. “In each place you learn different things, different details and ways to do movements. For example, when I’m in Asia, I had the best Muay Thai training that I ever had at Team Evolve in Singapore and also many BJJ world champions, high level black belts and a wrestling coach in Heath Sims. So we have all that discipline in a single team. It’s a perfect facility, the team that I represent and one of my favorite places to train, along with Kings MMA under Rafael Cordeiro.” says Dos Anjos in an interview with MMAmania.com.
3) He is an elite, world class BJJ blackbelt with aggressive submissions.
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, RDA has never been submitted in the UFC before. With a Submission of the Night award over Terry Etim and a rear naked choke finish over Kamal Shalorus, there’s no doubt that Dos Anjos wouldn’t mind it if the fight went to the ground. Having trained BJJ since he was 9 years old, Dos Anjos has competed in many BJJ tournaments in the past, including the Brazilian Nationals, European Open and even the Mundials.
4) He has outstanding wrestling.
Everyone remembers how Dos Anjos took down Nate Diaz over and over again at UFC on FOX 13. He completely obliterated Diaz, who seemed practically helpless. Dos Anjos’ takedowns are courtesy of training with Jacob Harman, the head wrestling coach of Churchboyz Wrestling. Known for coaching some of the greatest names in the UFC today such as Wanderlei Silva, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, there’s no doubt that Harman knows a thing or two about wrestling for MMA.
5) He is explosive, athletic, and fast.
Dos Anjos is fast — there’s no denying that. His strength and conditioning coach, Nick Curson, focuses on overall athleticism, coordination and kinesthetic awareness tailor-made for MMA fighters. Because of this, Dos Anjos is an unstoppable force in the cage, evident in his last fight against Diaz.
6) RDA has cardio for days.
Dos Anjos’ great cardio gained attention after his fight with Mark Bocek at UFC 154. Although Bocek was favored to win, Dos Anjos was continuously active throughout the fight, dominating all three rounds. In the 3rd round, especially, while Bocek started to fumble, Dos Anjos continued to land punches. There was no doubt that Dos Anjos was the clear winner of this fight.
They say half the battle is developing your mental strength before your fight. Dos Anjos is already convinced of his win over Pettis. In fact, he believes that he will bring the coveted title back home to Brazil. He also says that he will be at his best in this fight and won’t play it safe to win. Sounds pretty gutsy to us!
Although Dos Anjos certainly has his work cut out for him, he’s more than determined to give it all he’s got and finish Pettis. We all know that Dos Anjos is a fighter – in and out of the octagon. Whatever happens on Saturday, we can be assured that Dos Anjos is going to put up a good fight.