MMAOrient exclusive interview with UFC fighter Rafael dos Anjos 4 days before UFC 139

Evolve MMA fighter: Rafael dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos (born October 26, 1984) is a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist. Dos Anjos trains out of Evolve MMA in Brazil and Singapore and is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Aldo “Caveirinha” Januario de Olivera. He is also well-versed in Muay Thai under the tutelage of the legendary team at Evolve MMA under Kru Chatri Sityodtong.

After back-to-back losses in his first two UFC fights (Jeremy Stephens and Tyson Griffin), dos Anjos reeled off nonstop kicks to Robert Emerson ‘s leg, scored a second decision victory over Kyle Bradley, then finished Terry Etim with an armbar (right).

Seven of dos Anjos’ fifteen career wins come via submission, with another two by TKO.

Rafael’s next assignment is against a dangerous fellow Brazilian fighter Gleison Tibau on November 19th, 2011 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, USA for UFC 139.

Rafael dos Anjos preparations for UFC 139:

The event will be the first that the UFC has hosted in San Jose, the longtime home and base arena for Strikeforce.

MMAOrient: Tell us about what you feel on fighting Gleison Tibau on UFC 139 on November 19th?

Rafael:

I feel very good for this fight.  I have trained very hard.  I’m ready for a big war.

MMAOrient: How is your training for this fight?

Rafael:

I had a great 10 week training camp for this fight.  I respect Gleison as a fighter.  He’s very tough and strong with good takedowns and KO power.  But I am confident in my training.  I trained everything – BJJ, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Boxing.  I am ready.

MMAOrient: What do you think will be the key factor for your victory against Tibau?

Rafael:

My coaches (Gordo, Gordinho, Chatri) gave me a tricky strategy and game plan.  You will see in the fight!  I have many surprises.

MMAOrient: What holes do you see in Tibau’s game?

Rafael:

He is a complete fighter.  He is a BJJ Black Belt with KO power and good wrestling.  He is also very big and strong for a lightweight.  I see some things that I can do, but you will have to watch the fight to see!

MMAOrient: You have an impressive win on your last fight at UFC 132 against a tough Australian fighter George Sotiropoulos. You finished him in just 59 seconds of the very first round, tell us your thoughts on that fight?

Rafael:

I trained for 3 months at Evolve MMA in Singapore with all the world champions in Muay Thai and Boxing there.  I learned many things and my Muay Thai and Boxing improved a lot.  My confidence became strong in my striking.  I knew that my striking would be better than George.  Thank you to Evolve MMA.  I believe it is one of the best teams in the world for a UFC fighter like me.

MMAOrient: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?

Rafael:

I will fight anyone that UFC gives me.  I am a fighter.  I am not scared of anybody.  This is my dream.

MMAOrient: What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?

Rafael:

I like arm bars and chokes for submissions.  I like my low leg kicks and hooks for standup.

MMAOrient: Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?

Rafael:

I am a high level BJJ Black Belt.  I love submissions.  But now, I have become a complete fighter too.  I can strike or I can go to the ground.  I will do whatever my coaches tell me to do.  I have confidence in my game now.

MMAOrient: Which team are you training with in preparation for your next bout?

Rafael: 

My team is Evolve MMA.  I train in Evolve MMA in Brazil and Singapore.  I also spent some time at Renzo Gracie Academy in New York with Frankie Edgar, Georges St Pierre, Ricardo Almeida, and many other top fighters.

MMAOrient:  Can you tell us a bit about you training at Evolve MMA?

Rafael:

For sure I am lucky to train at Evolve MMA.  It has everything for me as a UFC fighter…so many world champions.The Muay Thai world champions are the best.  And we have around 50 BJJ Black Belts for Evolve in Brazil and Singapore.  It is one family.  This is the spirit.  We have world champions in everything.

MMAOrient: What can we expect from you on November 19th against Tibau?

Rafael:

For sure the fight is going to be exciting for the fans.  I will do my best to put a good show.  I will show new things.  It is the new Rafael dos Anjos.

MMAOrient: Any message to your fans?

Rafael:

Thank you for my fans for the support.  I will do my best for you.

MMAOrient: Any people/sponsors you would like to thank?

Rafael:

I want to thank my family at Evolve MMA.  My team and my family.  Thank you to Praetorian.  Thank you to my wife Cris for good support.

Visit Evolve MMA’s website for more updates on Rafael’s training. Click here

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