Rafael dos Anjos is coming off a decision loss to Leon Edwards, but is still ranked fifth in the division. Yet, when he makes his return to the Octagon in the co-main event of UFC Raleigh, he is set to battle Michael Chiesa.
Chiesa, who was a top-15 lightweight, moved up to welterweight and picked up two wins but wasn’t ranked. Although he isn’t ranked, “RDA” wanted this fight and was interested in it.
“I’m not too attached to the rankings anymore,” Dos Anjos said to MMA Junkie. “Back in the day everybody fought everybody, so we don’t have those. Michael is a guy who is coming off two good victories against Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. He usually competes in lightweight, too, so he’s coming up a division. I’m happy to welcome him to the division.”
Michael Chiesa is a grappler-centric fighter and Rafael dos Anjos has had issues with wrestlers like Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington in the past. But, this time, dos Anjos plans on stopping it and knows on the feet he has the advantage.
“It’s not surprising he’s going to try to tie me up and work his body lock like he always does in his fights,” dos Anjos said. “Of course, it’s a fight. It starts standing, so I’ve got to make sure I don’t get caught with any shots, open by eyes and see everything and bring my A-game. I think what he brings is good jiu-jitsu. He’s got some good submissions and I’ve just got to work hard on my defense, and my attacks as well, in case the fight goes to the ground I feel I’ll be pretty covered.”
In the end, Rafael dos Anjos is confident in this fight and making 2020 an active and great year.
“2020 is going to be a great year for me,” dos Anjos said. “I’m sure of it. I want to keep active. It’s good to be fighting January. Start off the year with a great win this Saturday, and I’m looking to be active this year. More active. Do at least three fights.”