UFC 117, to take place August 7 in California, features the Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen matchup as a main event. However, fans from two countries in particular have a good reason to cheer. On the live pay-per-view card, anyone paying attention will notice the event is, simply put, a battle between Americans and Brazilians.
Looking for his fourth win in the promotion, Rafael dos Anjos wants to put on a good show against Clay Guida, the stalwart ahead of him.
“He’s experienced in the UFC, he’s fought a number of times in the octagon. I’m 100% prepared. I have no injuries and my strategy is to defend his takedowns and work my boxing and muay thai. Then, I’ll try and take it to my cash cow, which is Jiu-Jitsu,” the black belt tells GRACIEMAG.com.
But, secondly, the fighter admits he hopes for a good performance from his country.
“I checked and it really is Brazil vs USA. What I’m going to do is go for it in my fight, regardless of all else. But, of course, I rooting for a blow-out by Brazil and may everyone leave [the cage] in victory.”
A win over Guida could raise the fighter’s stock in the event. Nevertheless, Rafael feels it is still too soon for talk of a title challenge.
“Some of the guys who’ve made it past him went on to challenge for the title. But, to tell you the truth, I’m not thinking about that yet. What I want is to stay in the event, employed. I want to win and carve out a place for myself in the event. Things will happen at the right time. I still have a lot to learn and improve on.”
However, that doesn’t mean he’s not watching the top guys in the lightweight division, Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, who will have a title rematch.
“BJ ruled the weight group and sent everyone packing, but Frankie threw a wrench in things, which is good because it stirred things up in the division. BJ has a tricky game, but Frankie has a lot of gas and it’s hard to end a fight with him quickly. I believe BJ will show up much better this time, but, in five rounds, things will be complicated. Frankie will make things hard on him,” he says in finishing.
Check out the bouts on the live card:
Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen
Thiago Alves vs Jon Fitch
Rafael dos Anjos vs Clay Guida
Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Hughes
Junior Cigano vs Roy Nelson