clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rafael dos Anjos aims to finish Eddie Alvarez, praises UFC Fight Pass as ‘the future’

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

The UFC lightweight championship will be on the line at UFC Fight Night 90, and Rafael dos Anjos is excited with the opportunity to defend his belt against Eddie Alvarez on July 7.

"He’s a dangerous fighter, has heavy hands," dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. "We know how hard it is to earn a shot at the title in the lightweight division, and he’s done it. He’s motivated, but so am I. I don’t want to lose what I’ve won. Let’s go for a war."

A former Bellator lightweight champion, Alvarez earned a shot at the gold after back-to-back wins over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis, but the UFC kingpin wasn’t impressed by his most recent performance against "Showtime".

"His performance didn’t impress me that much," said the Brazilian. "He has done better fights in the past. It was a conservative fight, he fought to win. The fight didn’t go as exciting as everybody expected, so his win didn’t impress me that much.

"You’re competing against the elite of the sport in the UFC. His UFC debut was against (Donald) Cerrone, and look what Cerrone did to him. The first round was close, (Alvarez) won, but Cerrone was way better in the next rounds."

Even more important than beating Alvarez, dos Anjos enters his second title defense eyeing history.

"I believe I’m more used to fighting in the Octagon, and I will impose my game and show the world why I’m the champion," dos Anjos said. "I’m here to stay. Now that I’ve achieved my goal to win the belt, I want to be the best of all times. I want to be remembered as the lightweight with most title defenses."

Dos Anjos enters UFC Fight Night 90 holding a 14-5 UFC record with six stoppage victories. Alvarez is 12-2 in his last 14 bouts, but the Brazilian aims to add another submission loss to Blackzilians product’s record.

"I train to fight five rounds, but if we can end the fight in the first round, it’s even better," said RDA. "I’m training to be ready for five rounds, but I don’t get paid per minute. I’m there to finish it as soon as possible.

"I haven’t submitted an opponent in a while now," he added. "I would like to submit him, but it’s a fight. I will take every opportunity. But I don’t think it will go the distance, it’s going to be a convincing victory."

At UFC Fight Night 90, dos Anjos will become the first male champion to defend his belt on UFC Fight Pass. Months after being forced out of one of the biggest pay-per-view cards of the year against McGregor, the Brazilian doesn’t see the digital platform as a downgrade.

"I don’t think I’m being devalued for fighting on Fight Pass," said the champion. "Anderson Silva, one of the best of all times, just fought on Fight Pass. I get paid the same money if I’m fighting on pay-per-view or on Fight Pass, and Fight Pass is just getting started. It’s the future. The internet, many people watch it.

"The UFC is investing a lot on it and it has everything to grow, and I believe that putting me on Fight Pass shows that they believe I will bring more people to Fight Pass. I’m happy to help the growth of Fight Pass, but it doesn’t really matter where I’m fighting. UFC 200, Fight Pass, I just want to do my job defend my belt."

"I was just very frustrated that I couldn’t fight in March," he continued. "Many people said that I would have made a lot of money (against McGregor) and my life would change. Man, money is cool and everybody likes it, but changing my life? I was upset because I couldn’t fight, you know? I have a good life, I have everything I want. Compared to what I had in the past, I have everything now. Money is not the most important."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting