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Rafael dos Anjos: I want to finish Jason High to show that I’m back

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Khabib Nurmagomedov taught Rafael dos Anjos some good lessons at UFC on FOX 11, and the Brazilian is ready to get back on track Saturday night after losing for the first time in six fights.

dos Anjos returns to the Octagon 50 days after a unanimous decision loss to Nurmagomedov and plans to finish Jason High at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, N.M., to prove he belongs among the best lightweights in the world.

"I will do my best to finish this fight," dos Anjos told "I will do my best because I want to go in there and show that I’m back, that I’m here to fight for the title. I’m not focused on the title, that’s the consequence of the wins. I will continue doing my job and the title will eventually come. I want to finish him.

"Every time you win you bring more responsibility over you, and I want to go there and show that I’m back. I will work hard for that. I know that I’m capable of being (at the top). I’m going to turn 30 now, so I still have six or seven years to go after it."

A quick turnaround to the Octagon is exactly what the Brazilian was hoping for.

"I wasn’t hurt at all after my last fight, so I asked my manager to get me a fight as soon as possible," he said. "I’m in great shape and hungry to win.

"The long layoff affected my performance a little bit (against Nurmagomedov)," he continued. "I will be more disciplined now. I fought Khabib eight months after fighting Cerrone, but I want to stay in shape now. Sometimes after the fight you just want to relax and eat, but I won’t do it anymore. After this fight, I will stay in shape to be ready to fight again two months later."

dos Anjos was dominated by Nurmagomedov in April, and he has no excuses.

"He was better than me," he said. "I couldn’t do my game, but I always learn a lot with my losses. It was good for me. It opened my eyes to certain things I have to train more. He did his strategy and was better than me."

Jason High enters the bout on a two-fight win streak, and only one loss over the past 10 bouts, and that’s not the type of opponent dos Anjos was expecting.

"I thought I would drop down a lot (in the rankings) with that loss and be far away from the title, but that’s not what happened," he said. "I’m hungry to win on Saturday night, and I want to build a win streak again."

The Brazilian lightweight expected High to fight like Nurmagomedov and try takedowns on Saturday night, but he promises the outcome will be different.

"He’s a wrestler that likes to work on top and I think he will try to take me down, but I’m ready for everything," he said. "I trained a lot my takedown defense and jiu-jitsu, something that lacked in my last fight. And my striking is on point. I’m ready for everything he brings."