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Rafael dos Anjos doesn’t think Nate Diaz deserves to fight him at UFC on FOX 13

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Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Winner of seven of his past eight UFC fights, Rafael dos Anjos doesn't feel he gets the love he deserves.

The Brazilian lightweight, who scored back-to-back knockouts over former champion Ben Henderson and Jason High in a span of 77 days earlier this year, recently called out the MMA media on Twitter, asking if he needed to talk more to get attention.

"I feel people who just got in the UFC getting a lot of hype on those guys, like Conor McGregor," dos Anjos told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. "The guy just got his third fight in the UFC and there’s a lot of hype on this type of guy because they talk, they talk a lot. I’m not this type of guy.

"People see me because I’m winning my fights. That’s how I want people seeing me," he continued. "But I was thinking about it. I need talk more, call people out. It’s not who I am, but I feel I need to do this more to bring more attention for me.

"I’ve been on the road for a long time, I’ve been in the UFC for six years. I moved here to California three years ago to chase my dreams and, since I moved to California, I’ve improved a lot my skills and I have shown this. But I feel that people don’t give the respect that I deserve. I keep beating people. I keep winning my fights, trying to reach my goal, trying to get my belt. That’s what I want."

Ranked No. 3 in the UFC lightweight division, dos Anjos felt frustrated when he bought the UFC game for his kids. Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone, fighters who dos Anjos recently beat inside the Octagon, are in the EA Sports game, but he’s not.

"I really feel bad about that," dos Anjos said. "I got a game for my kids and they were asking me ‘why are you not in the game? There are a lot of guys that you beat and they are here’. I don’t know what to say them, so I (wrote) that tweet. Like I said, I’ve been on the company for six years already. … I got a little frustrated when my kids asked that."

The UFC gave dos Anjos the co-main event sport at the UFC on FOX 13 card against Nate Diaz after his devastating win over Henderson, and the Brazilian is finally starting to feel the love.

"I think people started talking more about me after that fight, but I think my big dream is still coming," dos Anjos said. "I have a fight against a top guy, Nathan Diaz, on Dec. 13. My focus is on that fight right now, and I’m looking forward beating him and getting my title shot."

Diaz will make his return to the Octagon almost 13 months after his last bout, a first-round TKO win over Gray Maynard, but the Brazilian lightweight doesn’t feel Diaz deserved to face a top contender after winning only one of his past three bouts.

"I was surprised because he hasn’t fought in a year, and he’s not in the top 10," dos Anjos said. "I wanna be in shape, stay active. I think that the only guy before me is Khabib (Nurmagomedov), but he’s out (with an injury) and will only be back next year, so I accepted this fight because I wanna be in shape and fight around the same time of the title fight.

"To be honest, I think no, he doesn’t deserve (this fight)," dos Anjos said. "But like I said, I accepted this fight because I wanna be active, I wanna be in shape, and I wanna fight at the same time of the title fight because we have a good time to fight next. I wanna have my chance. I wanna be the first Brazilian to get this belt. I wanna get this belt to Brazil."

dos Anjos agrees that Nurmagomedov should fight for the title before him if he’s cleared to compete after a knee injury. However, if the Russian lightweight isn’t ready to return, dos Anjos should be the one facing the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez.

In fact, the Brazilian lightweight doesn’t think Melendez deserved a shot at the UFC champion.

"Melendez fought three times in the UFC. His first fight was the title and he lost. He almost lost to Diego Sanchez, it was a tough fight, and he’s fighting for the title again. In my opinion, it’s not fair," he said. "After I beat Nate Diaz, I think I deserve a title shot."