This Saturday night, Rafael dos Anjos looks to extend his current three fight winning streak as he prepares to do battle with the non-stop, highly energetic Clay "The Carpenter" Guida in a televised bout at UFC 117: Silva vs Sonnen live from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The lightweight fighter, who hails from Rio De Janeiro, recently took some time out of his schedule to speak with Bleacher Report to discuss his upcoming bout with Guida.
"I go through very intense training with my partners daily. Every morning and afternoon have been completely dedicated to preparations for this fight. I have focused on being physically well and keeping all of my fight skills sharp."
It's safe to assume that he's going to have to take advantage of every single skill he possesses as Guida is a fighter who makes his opponents fight every second of every round.
There are fighters with more skill and better resumes than Guida, but he's arguably at the top of the heap when it comes to heart and work rate. Whether the fight is fought on the ground or remains a stand up brawl, you can rest assured that Guida will do his part to make it a war of attrition.
You can also rest assured that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in dos Anjos has taken the necessary steps to counter everything that "The Carpenter" throws his way.
Who will win this Saturday at UFC 117: Silva vs Sonnen?
"I like to fight on the ground, but I am prepared for everything. I believe that in The Octagon a fighter has to be prepared to face any opponent no matter what fight style he brings."
To say that dos Anjos prefers to fight on the ground might be a bit of an understatement as all but one of his stoppage victories have come by way of submission.
One thing that dos Anjos and Guida have in common is that they are both coming off of wins which garnered them 'Submission of the Night' bonuses.
Dos Anjos most recently stopped Terry Etim with an armbar on the undercard of UFC 112: Invincible back in April while Guida secured an arm triangle choke on Shannon Gugerty a few weeks prior on UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones.
The victory for dos Anjos over Etim marked his third straight win since having dropped two consecutive fights. The first took place at UFC 91: Couture vs Lesnar where Rafael was knocked out by an uppercut by Jeremy Stephens in November of 2008.
Four and a half months later, on the undercard of UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Kampmann, dos Anjos found himself on the unfortunate side of unanimous decision against Tyson Griffin in the evening's fight of the night.
"After those fights I realized that I should only be fighting when I feel that I am completely at 100 percent, both physically and mentally. Since those losses I feel that I have become a more complete fighter."
While dos Anjos is well aware that a win is never guaranteed he tries not to let himself look to far ahead of the challenge that stands before him. Yet, with a little bit of poking and prodding, he revealed that a potential fight with Takanori Gomi, whom just knocked out Tyson Griffin this past weekend, would make for an interesting affair.
But, for the most part, dos Anjos remained relatively mum on his future in the UFC in regards to how many more times he'd like to be in the cage this year or how many fights removed he is from a potential title shot.
"I'm always ready to fight. I am training to be number one. I don't really think about where I am now, I just remain focused on my goal of eventually becoming a champion," was dos Anjos' response.
As with any sport, the road to becoming a world champion is a long and tough one, and Rafael dos Anjos expects his upcoming bout with Clay Guida to be no different.
"I'm really well prepared for this fight. Everyone watching should be ready for an exciting show, because that's exactly what they're going to get from me."
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