UFC lightweight Rafael dos Anjos isn’t wasting any time in returning to the Octagon after a disappointing setback. RDA will do battle with Jason High on June 7 at Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, N.M. The Brazilian saw his stock drop in the 155-pound weight class after being dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov over three rounds at the recent UFC on FOX 11 event. High is making a drop down in weight to face the No. 8 ranked dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos was on the cusp of a possible title opportunity until seeing his five-fight win streak derailed by “The Eagle” in Orlando. He was controlled on the canvas by Nurmagomedov’s smothering style for most of the contest. Dos Anjos didn’t get a chance to show off an improved striking game and his noted submissions skills were negated as he dropped a unanimous decision. He’s obviously ready to make amends for the setback with the quick turnaround against the athletic High.
High had been contemplating a move down from welterweight for some time and finally elected to test the lightweight waters after an injury forced him off the Fight Night 35 card in Georgia. High has recorded victories in his last two Octagon appearances against Anthony Lapsley and James Head, and he’s an impressive 9-1 in his last 10 career fights. He’s 2-1 in his second stint in the UFC with that loss coming in Brazil at the hands of dangerous welterweight Erick Silva. “The Kansas City Bandit” is 18-4 with 11 finishes by knockout or submission.
The 20-7 Dos Anjos is taking a step back in competition for his next appearance but clearly is intent on getting another win streak started as soon as possible. In the meantime, High can take his career to the next level if he’s able to pull off the upset.
The card stacks up as a showcase for the 155-pound division as the New Mexico event is headlined by former champion Benson Henderson battling Rustam Khabilov and also includes Diego Sanchez vs. Ross Pearson. Dos Anjos could potentially get one of the winners of those fights if he takes care of business.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports