On the night of December 3-4, UFC on ESPN 42 was held at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The fight in which Rafael dos Anjos and Brian Barberena fought was of particular interest. The reason for that was the proximity of the historical achievement that the Brazilian had almost conquered.
Rafael dos Anjos went into the fight with one goal in mind, to win at any cost. But he also thought that the record which seemed so far away and unattainable during his whole career was very close. The Brazilian won by painful hold in the second round… and set an incredible achievement. He had been in octagon for over eight hours in total! It is suspected that in the near future dos Anjos’s record will become unbreakable. The previous record belonged to Frankie Edgar (7:57.10), another former lightweight champion. But Frankie Edgar just recently finished his career, so he won’t be able to break his eighth time.
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Rafael dos Anjos at the age of 38 is still on fire both inside and outside the cage. He decided to have a status fight against the backdrop of a unique record. The Brazilian challenged for the fight Conor McGregor himself. He promised to show the Irishman that he must pay for everything by hinting at the use of banned substances by Notorious.
The fighter also made a rather loud statement, saying:
“I’m a former champion and have been in the UFC for years, so I deserve a big fight. I want to fight legends of our sport, people who have already accumulated a lot of fights. That’s the kind of fight I’m looking for. I think I’ve earned the right to challenge anyone I want to fight, and I want to challenge Conor McGregor. He’s got time to get clean from the drugs he’s taking. I’ll see him in July. I’ll beat it all out of him.”
Rafael dos Anjos set the bar very high for all UFC fighters. He’s been in the octagon longer than anyone else in history. And most importantly, the fighter is not going to leave the organization and end his career. That’s why his gap from the pursuers can become even more impressive. It will be almost impossible to catch up with the Brazilian who left.