Dos Anjos: ‘I want to become a legend’

Rafael Dos Anjos has revealed that he wants to be remembered as one of the greatest fighters and lightweight champions in UFC history. 

Dos Anjos will defend his title against Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 on Saturday and the reigning champion is confident of emerging victorious, since he defeated Cerrone via unanimous decision when they last met at UFC Fight Night 27 in August 2013. 

Dos Anjos added that he has been training vigorously in the lead-up to the event as he is determined to retain his title and write the first chapter of his reign as lightweight champion. 

"I want to do that. That's my goal. I want to become a legend," Dos Anjos told FOX Sports.

"That's my goal now. I want to keep this title as much as I can. I think I will do it because I'm able to learn more every day. To try new things while I'm training. I just turned 31 but I feel great.

"My body feels great, my mind feels great, and it took me so long to get my chance for the title but I think it was God's time. He knows everything, he put me here at the right time, at the place, and nobody is going to take me away from this position now. It wasn't easy to get here and it will not be easy to take my title away from me.

"It will be great. I beat Cowboy two years ago but for me my first title defense, he's been doing great since then, and whatever they put on my front, I want to beat. I want to be the best in the world.

"I want people to remember me as a guy who works hard. It doesn't matter who they put in front of me, I just want people to remember me. I go to kill or die. I just go there to fight whoever they put in front of me."

The 31-year-old Brazilian is also hoping to finish the fight quicker than their last one and believes that if he catches Cerrone with a solid punch, the bout will be over. 

However, Dos Anjos acknowledged that Cerrone has significantly improved since they last met and added that he won’t underestimate the 32-year-old, who is currently on an eight-fight winning streak. 

"I'm looking for that. If I hit him the right way like I did last time, he got back standing, but if I hit him with my hands this time, he's not going to come back anymore. I'm sure about that," Dos Anjos said.

"Since our last fight, I think we've both improved a lot, but I've improved even more. I'm so confident in my hands and my stand-up game, I gained a lot of confidence in my last fight. I'm looking to finish this fight. I'm not going there to try and win by decision.

"I think he deserves the shot because after that fight he won eight fights in a row. That's a lot for this division. I think he deserves the shot, he's been doing well, but I just watched his recent fight against Benson Henderson and of course he [won] that fight but other than that he did great.

"He won like seven in a row. In my opinion, he lost to Ben Henderson but on the official result he won but he did great. He deserves this shot."

But, Dos Anjos isn’t a fan of Cerrone’s mindset of fighting to earn lots of money as every time he steps into the octagon, Dos Anjos fights for his family, honour and his dream of being the best in the world. 

"I heard 'Cowboy' Cerrone he was doing some interview that he doesn't wake up every day, driving to the gym to be the best in the world. He's fighting for the money, that's what he says," he added.

"I fight for my legacy, I fight for my family. Of course, we fight because we need money to live but the money is not what's most important. I fight to be the best. I fight to be a good example for kids. I want to teach to become like me.

"I want to be an example. So when I wake up every day, I take my kids to school and then I'm training to be the best."