Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has described the torrid run of injuries that has left him out of action for the past 15 months.
After some uncertainty, owing to the late withdrawal of Rafael Fiziev, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, dos Anjos is set to return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 272. He’ll face compatriot Renato Moicano, who’ll share the cage with the former titleholder on just four days’ notice.
Saturday’s co-main event will represent RDA’s first taste of action since a five-round victory over Paul Felder in 2020. Prior to being on the sidelines for the entirety of 2021, the Brazilian had consistently competed two to four times a year in the UFC since 2009.
As the longest layoff of his career comes to an end in Las Vegas this weekend, dos Anjos has lifted the lid on the issues that have chained him to the sidelines for the past 15 months.
dos Anjos “100% Healthy” After Brutal Run Of Injuries
During an interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri, dos Anjos admitted his recent injuries represented him paying the price for the abuse his fighting career has put his body through since 2004.
“I’ve been away for 15 months having injuries back-to-back. I was abusing my body for over 15 years,” said dos Anjos. “Last year, I paid the price so I had to fix some issues on my body, but I’m 100% healthy right now. I want it so much.
“I had a sports hernia, which was on my abdomen wall. That was back in March, it’s going to be a year. I fought Paul Felder with that injury. I couldn’t kick, I couldn’t squat down, I couldn’t do any sit-ups. I signed up for the fight and I fought with that injury,” dos Anjos continued. “The other one was the meniscus on my right knee. I was just training, getting ready for Islam [Makhachev]. I had something they call a bucket handle on my meniscus. I removed it and now I’m 100%.” (h/t CBS Sports)
Having returned to full health, dos Anjos will be hoping to add a 31st professional victory to his record when he makes the walk to the Octagon again this Saturday. If he does manage to get past Moicano, RDA will have secured a second consecutive win for the first time since 2017.
Who do you think will emerge victorious in the UFC 272 co-main event, Rafael dos Anjos or Renato Moicano?