Rafael Dos Anjos Expects Alexander Volkanovski to ‘Shock the World’ at UFC 284
Rafael dos Anjos is eager to return to the Octagon on the heels of his second-round submission win over Bryan Barberena in a welterweight bout at UFC on ESPN 42 this past December.
Sometimes finding a fight is easier said than done.
"My goal was to return in March or April, but it's not easy to find opponents,” dos Anjos told Sherdog.com. “The UFC offered some guys I already fought and some others that I had to look on Google to find out who they were.”
The former lightweight champion is interested in fights against the likes of Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, but when it comes to the welterweight division, many of the top names are already booked.
"I also suggested [Stephen] Thompson, but it looks like he wants to fight strikers, and I did a lot of grappling against Barbarena,” dos Anjos said. “Since Colby [Covington] must face Belal [Muhammad], [Jorge] Masvidal is paired with [Gilbert Burns] and [Kevin] Holland with [Santiago] Ponzinibbio, I'm pretty much waiting for another UFC suggestion. When I decided to return to welterweight, I reduced my camps to five or six weeks since I stay in shape training every day.”
A close friend of Beneil Dariush from their time at Kings MMA, dos Anjos is excited to see his former training partner in a potential matchup with Charles Oliveira.
"I would say the best chances for ‘Do Bronx’ are in the stand up. Beny evolved a lot his wrestling and his ground game is tough. If UFC confirms it, that one will be a hell of a fight,” he said.
When it comes to the future clash between “TUF 31” coaches Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler, dos Anjos favors the Irish star.
"Conor is very smart. He always chooses the fights that favor him,” dos Anjos said. “Chandler´s IQ is not really high. Sometimes the guy looks like he wants to get hurt. It's fine, he provides great fights for the fans but these will come back [to haunt] him one day. I would go 80/20 in favor of Conor in that one.”
On the other hand, dos Anjos doesn’t believe Islam Makhachev should be heavily favored in his lightweight title defense against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.
"I disagree. I see Volkanovski with a real chance to surprise Islam,” he said. “The guy already weighed more than 200 pounds. I think he will shock the world on Saturday and win on points.”
Dos Anjos believes that judo training will be a key point of emphasis for Volkanovski.
"It's important to note that Makhachev doesn’t use wrestling. His throws are basically from judo,’”dos Anjos said. I did two camps to fight him and [Andre] Pederneiras brought a couple of top judo guys to help me. At the beginning of the camp I never took so many throws. By the end, when I evolved my defense, everything changed. I hope Volkanovski trained with judo guys. If he did, he has a great chance to avoid takedowns and dominate Islam on the feet with his speed.”