Rafael dos Anjos is gearing up to defend his title against Eddie Alvarez this July on UFC Fight Pass, all while trying his best to recover from the foot injury that forced him pull out of a fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
Dos Anos recently sat down with UFC Brazil and chatted about Conor McGregor, his injuries, his next opponent and the change in fighting style.
“A lot of people asked me if I was upset because I missed earning a lot of money. I answer that, indeed I was sad, but not because of the money,” Dos Anjos spoke of his potentially lucrative fight with Conor McGregor. "I was upset because I didn’t fight. I have 32 fights on my record and this was the first time I cancelled because of an injury. But I’m cool, because I know the McGregor fight will eventually happen.”
As for his injury, "The doctor has cleared me to walk with sneakers two weeks ago, and a few days he said I was good to go with bare feet," Dos Anjos told UFC Brazil.
"I’m already back at work, the bone is almost healed, but some tendons are still sore. I’ve been doing some grappling, not with full-power, but I can’t stand being away."
“I remember watching his three fights, he spent three rounds all over Pettis. I believe he’ll try something similar with me,” Dos Anjos said about his upcoming opponent, Alvarez. "But I believe I’m more well-rounded. My grappling is better, I’m taller and this is my momentum, I’m very motivated. All of these will help me get this win."
For the longest time, dos Anjos has been a jiu-jitsu black-belt who was known as a grappler, but Dos Anjos’ last submission win was back in 2012, when he took out Kamal Shalorus in the first round with a rear-naked choke hold. Even though it's been several years since his last submission, that doesn't mean that dos Anjos is done in that department.
“I miss submitting people, I have a lot of confidence in my jiu-jitsu”, RDA said. “I believe he will try to put me down, so we’ll see what happens on the ground. I’ve been putting a lot of work on my grappling, and I believe I can submit him.”