“He’s a tough guy, a very technical fighter, but I think there are levels to this game, and he’s never fought anybody like me,” Dos Anjos said of Fiziev. “I fought many guys like him, even better.
“I have to be really careful with his standup game, but I’m looking to mix it up. It’s an MMA fight, so I’m gonna fight my fight. I’m not gonna let him breathe, I’m gonna stay on him. It’s a five-round fight, and I’m gonna test his will, his cardio. I’m gonna push him hard for five rounds.
“I think the experience will count in my favor.”
At a time when many with a number next to their name are being tactical and selective about whom they fight and when, Dos Anjos has vowed to take the opposite approach, both this weekend and going forward.
“I’m ahead of him in the rankings, and I promised myself I’m not going to be taking fights based on the rankings anymore,” he said. “Back in the day, everybody fought everybody, and I’ve got a feed my family. I’ve got to fight. I’ve got to stay active.
“I’m not gonna sit at home and wait for the perfect fight,” Dos Anjos added. “I think good things are gonna happen as long as I’m active and fighting, putting on great shows for the fans.
“Ten years ago, I moved to the United States with a dream of becoming UFC champion. I became UFC champion, and now I’m returning to Brazil with the same dream. I’m 37 years old, but I’m still on the hunt.”
And after the longest layoff of his career and a fight to get back into rhythm earlier this year, the former champion is confident that he’ll take down another talented foe this weekend.
“I’m had a rough time with injuries, but now I’m back 100 percent,” he said. “Once I beat Rafael Fiziev, it will be three wins in a row, and we’ll see what’s next.
“I’m not looking past him, but I know I’m going to beat him.”