It’s an exclusive club, and RDA wants in. Only three fighters to date have held gold in two separate weight classes within the UFC: Randy Couture, B.J. Penn, and Conor McGregor. Couture accomplished the feat at heavyweight and light heavyweight, Penn at lightweight and welterweight. McGregor, the most recent member of the club, is the only man to hold two belts at once: featherweight and lightweight gold (Penn had the opportunity, but fell short, losing to Georges St. Pierre).
Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is now looking to be the next addition to that exclusive club. That’s after a first round submission victory over Neil Magny at UFC 215 on Saturday. The win marked the second straight at welterweight for the Brazilian fighter. He addressed the 170lb title picture at the post-fight press conference Saturday, speaking to the assembled media.
“The division is wide open” RDA told reporters. “All the top five, top six guys in this division have lost to the champion, or to the last challenger, which was Demian Maia. Thompson lost twice to Woodley already.”
“I’m new blood in this division. I was getting ready to fight Woodley if Maia didn’t take the fight” he said, in regards to UFC 214 and his place in the weight class. “Here I am. I’m coming. I’m a former lightweight champion, looking forward to be [a] two division champion.”
Of course, timing is everything.
“I know Woodley has an injury now, but I need some time off too. I fought three months ago in Singapore, I just fought now because I was preparing for Woodley, but Maia took the fight” he explained. “But I don’t want to lose what I was training [for] already, so I called Sean Shelby and said ‘Hey, I want to fight if you have somebody’ and then the opportunity with Neil Magny came up. We’ll see. I think it’s kind of too soon, but my goal is to fight for the title.”
What would a title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Tyron Woodley look like?
“One thing I can be sure, we’re going to fight” dos Anjos assured those present. “I’m not going to let him walk around, I’m going to make sure I push the pace. I’m not saying I will not use my strategy, of course I will, but I’ll walk forward. I have confidence in me, in my cardio — I’ll make him work.”
When asked if Robbie Lawler would also be a fight that makes sense for him, dos Anjos replied by saying “my goal is, I want to get this title, because I was training for it. We’ll see. I think it’s kind of soon to say.”