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In the past, Rafael dos
Anjos
and Gilbert
Burns
have been close to facing lightweight champion and fellow
Brazilian Charles
Oliveira
in the UFC.

Now they’ll watch as he defends his lightweight crown against
Justin
Gaethje
in the UFC 274 main event at Footprint Arena in
Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday night.

“I respect Charles a lot, but now he has what I want.  I´m
sixth in UFC rankings, and if I win one more fight I hope I can
challenge him,” dos Anjos told Sherdog.com.

Before he moved to 170 pounds, Burns had designs on squaring off
with “Do Bronx,” as well.

“When I was in the lightweight division, I asked the UFC to
face him,” Burns said. “He defeated three of my training partners
in a row: Nick Lentz, Jared
Gordon
and Michael
Chandler
. I was already getting used to being in the corner
opposite Oliveira, but on Saturday it will be different. Finally
I´ll be able to cheer for him.”

Dos Anjos and Burns have different views regarding the UFC 274
headliner.

“If Charles fights Gaethje the same way he fought [Dustin] Poirier,
he will run a big risk of being knocked out, because Gaethje hits
harder,” dos Anjos said. “But if he uses his range to control the
distance and take Gaethje down, he has a great chance for a
submission. I´ve heard Gaethje doesn’t like ground training. If
Charles takes him to the ground, he has much better skills than
Khabib to submit him.”

In Burns’ opinion, however, the champion will not be at too
great a risk against the challenger.

“Gaethje’s chin is not the same anymore. He is being hardly hit and
knocked down in every single fight. Also he is very weak on the
ground. Khabib showed the path to Charles,” Burns said. “If he puts
the right pressure controlling the distance, using his longer range
with kicks and knees and changing levels, I see Charles submitting
him in the first or second round.”


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