Rafael dos Anjos wants GSP and Lawler to secure his Legacy

July 7, 2016

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Rafael dos Anjos wants GSP and Lawler to secure his Legacy



By: Chris Olech
In the mixed martial arts realm, fighters claim their dominance through self absorbed motivations such as amassing accumulative wins, knocking out their opponents in devastating fashion, compiling a legion of fans and winning the acclaimed UFC championship belt. But what is next for a fighter like Rafael Dos Anjos who has meticulously scratched off all those markers off his list? One nearly impossible feat comes to mind, and that is to build an everlasting legacy, a journey which RDA is currently traversing, similarly to a black belt in BJJ inching closer to a red belt.

RDA has a tough hurdle to climb first as he looks to best Eddie Alvarez July 7th who has himself compiled an impressive resume outside of the UFC and now in the big show. Stylistically, this has all the potential for a fight of the night honors. RDA has devoured some of the toughest competition in the lightweight division boasting wins against Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone.

In the book Outliers, it states that one must invest 10,000 hours into a craft in order to become a master, Rafael has been training in the martial arts since he was eight years of age, definitely amassing well over that figure in blood and sweat. Jokingly he mentioned that he was never great at his Brazilian national sport of soccer thus he concentrated his effort in the combat arts. “It was a way for me to utilize the energy that I had, I always liked to fight, the contact sport…. I have that competitive spirit, I always liked to complete…. every day is a new challenge!”

Rafael also embodies the warrior spirit by fighting anyone that poses a good fight, thus when asked who his dream fight would be, he smiled and responded, “My idol, GSP, that would be a good fight.” A possibility once GSP comes out of retirement but RDA is not looking past his tough opponent in Alvarez.

RDA had a lot of praise for his opponent in Alvarez as he respectfully stated, “He is a very good fighter.” He also stated that he will fight anyone in the future, whether it is Robbie Lawler at welterweight, as he would consider moving up a weight class or avenging his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov and cleaning out his division, he is more than game.

In an impetus sport marked of incremental inches, his heart and work ethic might be the deciding factor but as many can attest, so is the man in his corner, Master Rafael Cordeiro of Kings MMA. Dos Anjos’ journey from Brazil led him to the famous Huntington Beach academy of Kings MMA as he constantly shapes and molds his techniques, even at this level of the game with one of the most astute coaches in the world.

Jorge Britto, one of the few men to have beat RDA, reminisced about his experiences with the current number one lightweight in the world. “Rafael is a real champ, respectful, a hard worker and skillful. The real deal. I had the honor to fight him back in the day, I remember the fight was super hard. His cardio and strength really impressed me. Today Dos Ajos is a complete fighter, I also believe that when you have Rafael Cordeiro and Roberto ‘Gordo’ Correira as coaches, that is a huge advantage!”

As for predictions from Jorge Britto for July 7th, Jorge exclaimed “Eddie is an experienced fighter, dangerous with heavy hands in his division but I don’t see him able to beat Dos Anjos in a 5 round match up. Rafael will probably TKO him after outworking him with strikes and takedowns. Also Eddie is not even close to Dos Anjos level of Jiu Jitsu. I am a big fan of Rafael and I hope to see him hold that belt for a long time.”

So what differentiates RDA from the countless of other hungry fighters to assemble a legendary status? Just maybe it is not some abstract and convoluted equation but a proclivity to hard work, a driving force and never losing touch of that youthful inclination of what gravitated him towards MMA and its’ conceptual difficulties in the first place.

“I think it is a talent God gave me, I never tried anything different to make a living, I love to fight, to come to the gym….. it is something that I have inside of me…It is hard to explain…. I love what I do.”

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