Rafael dos Anjos heard all the talk about not being deserving of wearing the UFC lightweight title.
Saturday night at UFC on FOX 17, dos Anjos showed he is No. 1 at 155 pounds, finishing Donald Cerrone in just over a minute and retaining his title.
“I am so happy,” he said. “I proved I come to this division to stay. All the accusations people were throwing at me, I am here with my belt.
“This is just the beginning of my career.”
Dos Anjos (25-7) picked up his five consecutive victory, including his third finish, adding a second win over Cerrone to his resume. He won the title this past March by besting Anthony Pettis after stringing together wins over Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson and Jason High.
Right from the start, dos Anjos attacked the body of “Cowboy,” landing with a knee to the left side of his midsection and following up with a kick. Once Cerrone was hurt, the Brazilian didn’t let up.
“Donald Cerrone is a great opponent. It is not easy to win eight fights straight in the lightweight division,” dos Anjos said. “But I have the best team around me and I am surrounded by great people.”
Immediately after disposing of Cerrone, dos Anjos sent out a challenge to Conor McGregor. The reigning UFC featherweight champion mentioned his desire to compete for a second UFC belt, and dos Anjos is more than willing to welcome him to 155.
“Mr. McGregor, if you want to come to the lightweight division, this is my division. Stay in featherweight,” he said. “I will fight you in Brazil. I will go to Ireland.
“I am here to stay.”