After a pristine showing against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Rafael dos Anjos surprised many pundits and earned much praise from the MMA community all around the globe.
Now that it’s all said and done, and Dos Anjos snatched Pettis’s belt with a masterful unanimous decision win, Cordeiro is not afraid to state it was RDA’s best showing ever.
“Rafael is a great athlete, I love to work with him,” Cordeiro told Combate. “We’ve been going strong together for the past 10 years. Most of my fighters enter fights as underdogs, but we use that as motivation. We knew how to beat Pettis in every aspect of the game, and everything we practiced led us to this victory. Rafael fought the champion and also as a champion. He was dominant like a champion, and it certainly was the best performance of his life. It’s not everyday someone dominates Pettis like that.”
Although dos Anjos revealed that he fought through a knee injury for the last three weeks of his camp, Cordeiro pointed out he never thought that would stop him from winning the biggest fight of his life.
“I don’t really like when a fight ends and one of the guys says he fought injured. Though Rafael did, I know he’s not looking to take advantage of that. His will was much stronger than the pain. He ignored it for three weeks, not even kicking with his right leg, but still fought like a champion. What happened was that one day he wore a shin pad that was a bit big for his size, so it slipped down his leg and then it twisted his knee. I was worried at first, but afterwards he was able to pull through with only one leg”.
Already looking forward to their first title defense, which will be either Donald Cerrone or Khabib Nurmagomedov, Cordeiro favors the Dagestani, who was the only fighter to beat Dos Anjos in his last 10 fights. And even though “The Eagle” won all three rounds using his takedowns and grappling prowess, Cordeiro believes things will not be the same a second time around and that the new champion is here to stay.
“Khabib will probably win and then we can erase that loss that’s been bugging us so much. It’ll be a tough fight, our wrestling and jiu-jitsu will have to be on point, but this time we will break him down. Our time has come and we will go strong”.
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