If Leon Edwards is overlooking Rafael Dos Anjos in advance of UFC San Antonio, it won’t be a mistake RDA makes in return.
San Antonio, TX — When it comes to mindset heading into a fight, one of the more dangerous things an athlete can do is overlook an opponent. Which is likely why former UFC lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos, competing the past couple of years as a welterweight, is glad Leon Edwards appears to be doing just that heading into their UFC San Antonio main event.
Whether or not Edwards really is overlooking the ex-champ remains to be seen. But it could give him an edge. And for his part, Dos Anjos (29–11) is certainly not taking “Rocky” for granted.
“I know he’s trying to get a crack at that belt, crack at that title shot. But I’m on a mission, I know I have what it takes to beat him,” Dos Anjos told media outlets including Cageside Press at Thurday’s media day for UFC San Antonio. “It’ll be a good fight. I fight well against southpaw tall guys. I have a history. We’ll see.”
“I’m glad he thinks I’m done, and I’m not going to be even close to giving him a good match,” RDA revealed. “But different from him, I know he’s tough, and I prepared really well.”
Asked if he felt Edwards was looking past him, Dos Anjos agreed. “I think he’s overlooking me a little bit, but as always, all my best opponents do that,” he replied, without specifying those he felt might have underestimated him. “But once they get in there with me, it’s a different story.”
The former champ is confident in the five round fight, and knows what he’s capable of. “I’m looking for the finish,” said Dos Anjos, who plans to throw heavy bombs and go in aggressive. But if the finish doesn’t come, “I’m ready to go the distance.”
“I know I have a bigger arsenal then him. I’ve got my takedowns, my punches, my kicks, my ground game, my game on the bottom too,” he added later, in terms of the contrast between them. “We’ll see, it’ll be a good fight.”
Entering into UFC San Antonio, Rafael Dos Anjos is coming off a win over Kevin Lee back in Rochester in May. Prior to that, he was on a two-fight win streak, where many wrote him off. That’s the nature of the beast, as he sees it. “People have a short memory,” he said of MMA fans. “People remember you more off your last performance. Unfortunately, in MMA, you can come off 3, 5 losses in a row, if you won a good one, ‘oh he’s back!’ I know how it is. I’ve been in that position before.”
Rather than getting ahead of himself, “I’m just taking it one step at a time. I might not get everybody’s approval. It’s hard to get everybody to praise you.” Instead, RDA is simply going to focus on his career, family, and health moving forward. And ensure his younger opponent isn’t someone he looks past.
“He’s a tough guy. Seven fight win streak is not easy. I take him really seriously.”
Rafael Dos Anjos faces Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC San Antonio (UFC on ESPN 4) this Saturday, July 20 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX.