“Oh, definitely (Kamaru) Usman,” Rafael dos Anjos said. “I can tell you that because 12 weeks before my fight with Khabib (Nurmagomedov), I was training in the cage and my ear got stuck in the cage and I split my ear.
“It took 14 stitches to close it and I almost lost my ear. So I pretty much didn’t train any wrestling for that fight. I had no scrambles, no grappling, none of that. It was more feet and knees and sparring and stuff like that.
“For Usman, I actually trained a lot of wrestling and he still took me down. He still controlled me. It was a five round fight and I feel like Usman brought the tougher competition for me.”
Rafael Dos Anjos & His History With Khabib & Usman
Dos Anjos first faced off against Nurmagomedov back in 2014. Although he lasted all three rounds with Nurmagomedov, it was “The Eagle” who picked up the unanimous decision victory.
Several years later, after jumping up to welterweight, dos Anjos faced off against Usman, prior to “The Nigerian Nightmare” becoming champion, in November of 2018. Again, dos Anjos went all three rounds, but came up short via unanimous decision.
Since, Rafael dos Anjos has returned to his lightweight home, currently on a two-fight win streak as the No. 7-ranked fighter in the division. Tonight, he faces #10-ranked Rafael Fiziev in the main event of UFC Vegas 58.
Where do you think Rafael Fiziev will ultimately rank in terms of the stacked list of tough opponents Rafael dos Anjos has fought in his career?