Earlier this year, Rafael Dos Anjos shocked the world by defeating the reigning UFC Lightweight World Champion, Anthony Pettis. Not only did Dos Anjos pull off one of the greatest upsets in MMA history, he managed to do so with a debilitating knee injury that he acquired 3 weeks before his fight.
Last weekend, Evolve Fight Team member and UFC Lightweight World Champion Dos Anjos proved the naysayers wrong once again. Many believed that he was a one hit wonder and would be unable to keep his belt. However, he was able to prove everyone wrong and above all, prove why he’s still the champion.
From his rough childhood on the streets of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro to his tumultuous MMA career, there’s no doubt that we can all take a page out of Dos Anjos’ book and use it as inspiration to unleash the greatness within us all.
Today, Evolve Daily shares 7 Life Lessons We Can Learn From UFC Lightweight World Champion Rafael Dos Anjos:
1) Surround yourself with the best
Rafael Dos Anjos believes that in order to be the best, he has to surround himself with the best. In fact, he attributes his improved striking technique to his training at Evolve MMA. In 2009, he made the decision to move to Singapore and train at Evolve MMA, a move that would change both him and his MMA game for the better. In his quest to keep learning and evolving, he splits his time between Evolve MMA and Kings MMA for training and fight camps.
2) Don’t give up, no matter what
In the beginning, Dos Anjos’ MMA career was not smooth sailing, to say the very least. After losing his debut, Dos Anjos would go on to fight twelve more times before earning a contract with the UFC. He would lose two fights after that and win the next three – and the rest is history. Instead of giving up, Dos Anjos would continue to pursue his dream of being an MMA fighter, regardless of whatever obstacle lay in his way.
3) You can do anything you want
You can do anything you put your mind into – MMA fighter, World Champion, regardless of what anyone says. Dos Anjos’ story proves that. Even after losing his parents’ support, breaking his jaw and losing several fights, Dos Anjos kept on persisting until he eventually became the UFC Lightweight World Champion.
4) Hard work always pays off
Nobody works harder than Rafael Dos Anjos. In the past, Dos Anjos was known as a one-dimensional fighter, just a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt with a good ground game. Today, Dos Anjos’ striking has become just as deadly as his BJJ, thanks to his striking training at Evolve MMA and Kings MMA.
Aside from putting in training time at Kings MMA and Evolve MMA, Dos Anjos also works on his strength and conditioning at Speed Of Sport with Coach Nick Curson. We can see the results of this extra training in each of his matches – Dos Anjos always moves forward to attack, and never seems to gas out.
5) Surprise everyone
In his fight against Anthony Pettis, Dos Anjos shocked the world by putting on a beautiful display of striking. Pettis, known for his striking skills, was unable to do anything to Dos Anjos, who was just relentless all 5 rounds. As the 4-1 underdog, Dos Anjos certainly proved everyone wrong that day.
Last weekend, Dos Anjos put on another spectacular display of striking as he dominated his fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone with devastating body kicks and punches. Although the odds were in favor of Dos Anjos, Cerrone had come in with an 8-victory streak. Unfortunately for Cerrone, his winning streak was short-lived. Dos Anjos won the fight via TKO in 1:06 of the first round.
6) It’s OK to be the underdog
Whether we realize it or not, being the underdog has its perks. The expectations are lower, which means that people are always underestimating our abilities. And this just makes it even more fun to prove them wrong.
For Dos Anjos, being an underdog never worried him. In fact, in an interview before his fight against Anthony Pettis, Dos Anjos revealed, “It does not bother me to be an underdog. I am an underdog in most of my fights. Maybe it is a good thing for me, he has all the pressure.”
7) Keep moving forward
Dos Anjos’ aggressive fighting style perfectly reflects his fighting career. No matter what life threw at him, he kept on moving forward without ever regretting any of his decisions. He knew what he wanted and wouldn’t stop until he achieved it – whatever curveball life threw at him, Dos Anjos took it in stride. Any obstacle he had to face only made him stronger and brought him to where he is today.
Today, the MMA world is abuzz with the prospect of UFC Featherweight World Champion Conor McGregor meeting Dos Anjos in the cage. In order to do so, McGregor would have to move up a weight class to fight the current UFC Lightweight World Champion. And of course, Dos Anjos appears to be more than happy to accommodate him.
Regardless of whether the fight is happening or not, one thing is for certain – Dos Anjos is never one to back down from a challenge, especially in MMA. The future is definitely looking up for Dos Anjos and there’s no doubt that we can expect only great things from our favorite hero.