There has never been a champion in the UFC lightweight division to defend the title more than three times, but Rafael dos Anjos wants to change that.
The Brazilian has already dispatched a laundry list of top lightweights over the course of his past five fights, including Anthony Pettis, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Nate Diaz.
Now as dos Anjos is getting ready for the second defense of his belt this week against top-ranked contender Eddie Alvarez, he’s not just facing a new challenger to his title.
He’s fighting to make history.
"I’m looking to make history. Right now, I already made history because I’m the first Brazilian champion (at lightweight), first non-American. Now I’m looking forward to having the most title defenses. One more title defense and a lot more still to come," dos Anjos told FOX Sports.
That’s what I’m looking for. That’s my goal. I had a goal to have my belt and I have my belt and I’m the champion. Now my goal is to become the best ever. To become the best lightweight in history.
— Rafael dos Anjos
It’s hard to argue with dos Anjos’ logic considering the way he’s torn through the lightweight division over the past few years like the Knights of the Vale ripping through the Bolton army on "Game of Thrones."
Dos Anjos made vaunted striker Anthony Pettis look meek and meager over five rounds. He attacked and destroyed Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in 66 seconds in his last outing. And don’t forget the way he sliced and diced Nate Diaz for 15 minutes en route to his first title shot.
It’s the same logic dos Anjos carries into his fight with Alvarez, who is a battle-hardened veteran with a long list of top wins over some of the best fighters in the world and that experience still might not save him from a savage beating courtesy of the lightweight champion.
"I have confidence on it. I know I’ve got heavy hands and I think it will not be fun for him to come into this kind of fight with me," dos Anjos said. "As you can see, he just knows how to fight like that. He gets hit a lot and he doesn’t like to get hit. Actually nobody likes that, I don’t like it either. I’m so confident in my hands, in my jiu-jitsu, in my wresting, I feel like I have 25 minutes to finish this fight.
"I’m an aggressive fighter, but I’m smart. I’m not going to play stupid. I’m going to go there like I did with Cerrone. I knew I had 25 minutes to win the fight, but I’m smart enough to see the gaps and see the opportunity to finish the fight."
As he prepares for the fight with Alvarez on Thursday night, dos Anjos is even more motivated to make an example out of his latest opponent after he was forced to drop out of his previously scheduled bout with featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
Sure, dos Anjos missed out on a huge payday by not facing McGregor and he would have loved to have been the person to silence the outspoken Irishman with an emphatic finish instead of Diaz getting that honor instead.
What irks dos Anjos more than anything is that he had to drop out of a fight due to injury for the first time in his career and the delay didn’t allow him to get another title defense on his resume as he looks to break the all time record.
Now as he gets ready for Alvarez, dos Anjos feels even better prepared than he did for the fight with McGregor and he promises that this performance will be another in a long line of awe-inspiring victories that will leave plenty of mouths gaped open when it’s done.
"I think even better, even more. I couldn’t compete my last fight and I’m so full of will this fight," dos Anjos said. "I’m excited for this fight. As you can see, my previous fight I showed up even better.
"This fight, I’m going to show up better. This one will not be different."