UFC Raleigh: Michael Chiesa Says Rafael dos Anjos Fight “Couldn’t Have Happened” at a “Better Time”
By FCF Staff
Michael Chiesa has been booked to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Raleigh, January 25th, and “Maverick” says the timing of the bout couldn’t be better.
Chiesa (16-5) has been signed to face the former lightweight champ at the upcoming event, after moving up from 155 to welterweight and recording wins over Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. While talking to MMA Junkie recently about the upcoming contest, the former TUF winner said this:
“This is one of those things, like I beat ‘RDA,’ and there is no backwards steps from there, it’s a guy ranked higher and that’s it,” Chiesa said. “There are no backwards steps. Once you get in the rankings, you just have to keep stepping forward until you lose to the guy ahead of you, and then you can start considering guys below you. This is a great opportunity to make a big leap in my career, a big leap in my skills, so this is what it’s all about for me. I can’t emphasize it enough.
“I’m finally in this position that I wanted to be in for so long. I get to fight ‘RDA.’ He’s truly top five, so there are these big ramifications, and this is the situation I’ve always wanted to be in. This is what it’s all about, and it couldn’t have happened to me at a better time. (I’m) 31 years old, about to be 32 – I’m in my prime. Everything is clicking, my camp is good, my home life is good, my social life is great – everything is perfect right now, so there is no better time for a fight like this than right now.”
Dos Anjos (30-12), meanwhile, is looking to get back on track after dropping a decision to Kevin Lee in July. Prior to that, the veteran submitted Kevin Lee in May.
UFC Raleigh will also feature a bantamweight fight between Cory Sanhagen and Frankie Edgar and a heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes and Junior dos Santos.