Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos will make his welterweight debut at the UFC Fight Night 111 event in Singapore on June 17th, the promotion confirmed in a press release on Monday(via Channel News Asia).
The Brazilian will face 30-year-old Belgian Tarec Saffiedine.
Dos Anjos(25-9) dropped the UFC’s 155-pound title last July when he was bludgeoned to a first-round defeat by Eddie Alvarez in Las Vegas. Four months later, surging contender Tony Ferguson dealt ‘RDA’ his second straight defeat via unanimous decision in Mexico City.
Following those back-to-back losses, in January, Dos Anjos announced plans to move to 170lbs, revealing some very troubling details about his recent struggles to make the lightweight limit.
“I passed out three times making weight for the Eddie Alvarez fight,” Dos Anjos told MMAFighting. “One day you get to the limit.”
In a subsequent interview with ESPN, the fighter suggested that he “could have died” during that weight-cut. Dos Anjos added that even after utilizing stricter, more calculated methods ahead of the Ferguson fight, he had once again come close to losing consciousness during the cut.
“We took care of everything, and still, I almost passed out,” he said. “It was hard for me. I just thought I had made a mistake against Alvarez and I would be able to avoid making that mistake again, but I think cutting to 155 is just too stressful.”
In Saffiedine(16-6), Dos Anjos takes on the number 10 ranked welterweight in the UFC. However, Saffiedine is lucky to have that spot based on his recent form. The Tristar representative has lost three of his last four fights. He rebounded from an October 2014 stoppage defeat to Rory MacDonald by outpointing Jake Ellenberger in January of 2016, but he has since dropped decision’s to Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim.
According to today’s press release, a flyweight undefeated promotional newcomers Carls John De Tomas(6-0) and Naoki Inoue(8-0) has also been added to the line-up.
Prior to this announcement, the UFC had already confirmed the following fights for the Singapore card;
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcin Tybura
- Takanori Gomi vs. Jon Tuck
- Ulka Sasaki vs. Justin Scoggins
- Russell Doane vs. Kwan Ho Kwak
- Cyril Asker vs. Walt Harris