There will be a lot more than personal pride at stake for Brazil's Rafael dos Anjos when he takes on Donald Cerrone on Saturday.
After a torrid weekend for Brazil in the UFC, where Jose Aldo was humiliated by Conor McGregor, dos Anjos will be out to set the record straight…not just for himself, but for his country too.
Few countries have taken to UFC like Brazil have. The country has produced a number of UFC champions that have been idolised by the Brazilian people. The list includes the likes of Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Junior Dos Santos and Jose Aldo.
However, Brazil's grip of the sport has loosened in recent times, with Aldo's stunning 13-second defeat to McGregor last Saturday being the latest failure.
Rafael dos Anjos has the opportunity to restore Brazillian pride on Saturday when he clashes with Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone to defend his lightweight title for the first time.
"We know that the Brazilians had a tough loss last weekend… Brazil just lost one belt with Aldo, but it could win five more. It’s (the) fight game. Anything can happen," dos Anjos said.
Despite Brazil's recent misfortune, dos Anjos remains upbeat of the future of the sport in Brazil.
"MMA is a new sport and it’s still growing (in Brazil). I’m happy to be a part of it, and to be building this. I think a lot of great things are coming” the fighter said.
Should dos Anjos lose on Saturday, Brazilian heavyweight Fabricio Werdum will be the nation's only remaining current UFC champion.