Heading into UFC San Antonio, Rafael Dos Anjos isn’t worrying about rankings with so many crazy things going on at welterweight.
San Antonio, TX — In a rare occurrence, UFC San Antonio headliner Rafael Dos Anjos skipped working out at the event’s open workouts on Wednesday.
But don’t worry, the former lightweight champ told reporters including Cageside Press. Everything is A-OK. “I always work out,” he noted. And he’s always on time for obligations. But this time, out, “I got [there] like twenty minutes before, and I was there waiting for a while. I have a training session now at 9:30, so I want to just talk to the fans, feel the good energy from them. So I have a [training] session tonight, but no concerns.”
Well, mystery solved. No injury concerns, at least not that RDA is admitting to. In the meantime, back to the fight Saturday, at what is properly UFC on ESPN 4. Dos Anjos meets Leon Edwards in the main event. Fans, pundits, are looking for meaning.
“I told myself, I’m’ not going to be too attached to the rankings right now,” Dos Anjos said of where a win would put him, and where his opponent is at. “So many crazy things going on. I can’t sit on my couch waiting for the perfect fight.”
Besides, Rafael’s infant son just turned 10 months old, and the ex-lightweight champ wants to provide for him. “I got to be active, provide for [his family]. At first, this opportunity came up to fight in Uruguay in August, but as always, I don’t put work in front of my family. My family first, my kids are on summer vacation right now.”
If Dos Anjos had taken the August fight he would have spent the entire summer in fight camp, training. “I was 800 miles away from home when I got a call from Dana White, ‘hey man I need a main event for July 20, San Antonio, Texas.’ I got a great history in Texas. I won my belt here, I had my first UFC victory here. So I said why not.”
The key to moving up in the division, feels RDA, is less about waiting for the right name, and more about staying active. “When I had my run for the lightweight title, I fought five times in eleven months,” he recalled. “Back then, there was no rankings. I had to fight anybody that the UFC gave to me. So if I’m not on a run right now, I gotta do the same. A victory is a victory. Edwards is a tough guy, man. He’s coming on a seven fight win streak, but I’m looking forward to end that win streak.”
Dos Anjos himself is coming off a win over Kevin Lee, back at UFC Rochester in May. Another victory would put him closer to a title shot in a division not overflowing with contenders like welterweight. But as he sees it, “it’s just a matter of opportunity. If it has to be my time, everything will work out. I’ve just got to make sure I’ll be ready. If the opportunity presents, I’ll be ready to take it.”
UFC San Antonio (UFC on ESPN 4) takes place this Saturday, July 20 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.