Rafael dos Anjos frustrated with champ Tyron Woodley's fighter-specific calendar

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This matchup could actually end up ugly for either fighter, depending on the range at which it's fought.

Yet despite all of his previous success, the 33-year-old Brazilian believes he's reached a new level since shifting to the welterweight division.

In a report by Ariel Helwani, McGregor would have had the spot now taken by Colby Covington, as he and Rafael dos Anjos would have fought for the interim welterweight title. He defended his title with a decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 214 in July 2017. It was just the second time in his career he'd dropped back-to-back contests and it signaled to the talented veteran that it was time for a change.

Covington is a proven commodity at 170 pounds and is riding a five-fight win streak, but he has a lot of ground to make up to hold a candle to what dos Anjos has done.

"What I can say, there are people in the entertainment business, whether it's WWE, whether it's Marvel, or the UFC, that people love to hate", Waterson explained when speaking to FloCombat ahead of her return to the broadcast desk on FOX for UFC 225. And I'm the greatest welterweight of all time at that point. "I'm always looking to improve and learn new things in training and about my body and that's what I've been doing".

And once he takes care of business against infamous Brazil-basher Covington, he'll have another title around his waist, and that should set up a fight with Woodley whether he wants it or not. Rafael tried to go for a guillotine, but Covington got out of it easily.

Thiem for a change? Or same old Nadal script?
Both men are at stages in their career that have previously been points of great decline for the greats who came before them. Thiem sent Cecchinato scurrying around the court before breaking decisively for a 6-5 lead with a lovely forehand victor .

"It means a lot for my legacy", admitted Dos Anjos. I want to fight in L.A. I had a good run at lightweight and now I'm having a good run at welterweight. I'm coming for you. The two are former teammates at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Woodley's last featured in a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia in July a year ago.

The fight was all Colby Covington. If Dos Anjos is able to damage the front leg of Covington he will have a real advantage going into the later rounds, which is where I see Dos Anjos pulling away and finishing the show.

While he's fully aware of Covington's various comments, the surging former lightweight champion is far more focused on what his opponent brings to the cage and exploiting some of the advantages he carries with him into this contest.

Asked if he could help Covington take his belt to the White House, UFC president Dana White said after Saturday's card, "I can make that happen".

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