After suffering back-to-back defeats, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is headed 15lbs north to welterweight.
The Brazilian made his intentions known via Twitter on Friday.
I reached the top of LW,it's been a hard journey make weight every time,now I want to fight at my best,I have new goals, I'm moving to WW
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 6, 2017
Combate, an MMA media outlet based in Dos Anjos’ homeland, had reported that the fighter planned to move up a weight-class several hours earlier.
Dos Anjos bounded into 2016 as arguably the most feared champion in the entire sport, having entered a terrifyingly destructive performance against Donald Cerrone in the dying days of 2015. Already atop the world, things got even better for ‘RDA’ when he was penciled in for a super-fight opposite then reigning featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
However, fortune then turned violently against Dos Anjos. In February, just days in advance of that huge bout, he was forced to withdraw with a foot injury.
When he returned to action in July, it wasn’t even as a Pay-per-view attraction. Instead he fought Eddie Alvarez on a Fight Night card and, to make matters worse, Dos Anjos lost his title when he was stopped via strikes for only the second time in his professional career.
Four months later, Dos Anjos lost a unanimous decision to Tony Ferguson in Mexico City. It was the first time since 2009 that the veteran had been beaten in consecutive fights.
When one considers his recent form, Dos Anjos’ decision to move up in weight is an understandable one. After two straight losses, re-establishing himself as a top contender in a packed and complex 155-pound division would take a long time.
However, after seeing the way that he struggled with the height and reach of Ferguson in November, one would have to wonder if this is the right move for Dos Anjos.