Rafael dos Anjos: I'm better than Eddie Alvarez
The International Fight Week is almost upon us. Every year, the first week of July brings us several exciting cards from the world of MMA. While the World Championships for the amateur MMA fighters gives us a glimpse of the future, several promotions put on the best cards possible.
The week-long festivities then end with UFC’s biggest show of the year.
This year will be even more exciting, with UFC 200 coming to us from Las Vegas. UFC will put on three exciting cards on the 7th, 8th and 9th respectively, with UFC 200 bringing down the curtains on the final day.
UFC Fight Night 90 will see the UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos defend his title against former Bellator lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez.
There was a time not too long ago when the MMA fans wanted to see Eddie take on Anthony Pettis in a dream fight for the title. This was of course when Eddie was in Bellator, while Pettis was the undisputed king of the 155 pound division.
However, times have now changed, and dos Anjos now finds himself on the top of the mountain.
In recent months, dos Anjos proved that he is one of the most dangerous fighters in the company – most recently stopping “Cowboy” in the opening minutes of the first round. RDA put on a clinic to dethrone Pettis for the title, and is ready to take on all comers.
While RDA was scheduled to take on Conor at UFC 196, he injured his foot, and will be returning to the Octagon in a week’s time.
During the recent UFC Fight Night 90 media call, RDA and Alvarez talked to the media about their upcoming fight, and what the fight means to them personally. I had the opportunity to talk to the UFC champion, who spoke about being better than Alvarez going into the fight.
“Yeah, man. I’m very confident in the training, in my work (leading up to the fight). I’ve been training so hard, and I feel that I have been improving a lot, and I feel that I still have a lot to improve. I just feel that – I feel more confident because I feel that I have more weapons than Alvarez.
He’s a tough guy – he’s a tough opponent. But I feel that it’s my time, and I feel that I have more weapons to win this fight. My stand up is better, my wrestling is better, my ground game is better, and I feel great. I’m so confident, and I can’t wait to get the W (win) on July 7th.”
RDA is a high level BJJ practitioner, but once again proved during his fight with Cerrone that he is just as dangerous in the striking department. However, dos Anjos knows that Alvarez is someone who will weather the storm before making his comeback, and told me that he was ready for whatever Eddie might throw at him.
“I go like – I know I have 25 minutes to fight, you know? I will be patient, but I will be throwing hard punches as always. If I can get the finish before (the end of five rounds), I will(fight) like I always do – I’m looking for the finish always.
But I’m ready to go for five rounds too. I’m training for all situations, and like I said, I need to be patient. I have 25 minutes to fight, but if I have the opportunity to finish, then I’ll take advantage of it.”
RDA is known for his aggressive style, pushing his opponents back right from the start. RDA’s high volume striking is complemented with his dangerous kicks, setting up his takedowns. However, with RDA recently suffering an injury, I asked him if he was 100 percent going into the fight.
“The foot is 100 percent, man. I’m kicking. I’m doing everything that I was doing. It was just a broken bone. Now that the bone is healed, I didn’t have any ligaments hurt. Now my bone is 100 percent. I’m kicking stronger than ever.
I spent four months in Singapore training Muay Thai. I kicked a lot over there. I’m ready to go.”
While RDA is coming off of a dominant victory over Cerrone, Eddie Alvarez himself defeated Anthony Pettis earlier in January. Both the LWs will clash in an interesting match – up of styles, as dos Anjos looks to get another victory under his belt.