By , Damon Martin
Published March 17, 2017
Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is ready to begin his new career as a welterweight and he has some notable opponents in mind for his debut.
Dos Anjos declared recently that he was no longer going to suffer through the weight cut to get down to 155 pounds and would resume his UFC career as a welterweight instead.
The veteran Brazilian isn't looking for a step down in competition, however, because dos Anjos would like to hit the ground running with a tough opponent when he finally makes his first appearance at 170 pounds.
"I'm a guy that whenever the UFC calls me, they just tell me the date and where. I don't pick opponents but I said some names the other day," dos Anjos told "UFC Tonight". "I think Nick Diaz would be a good match, Robbie Lawler, Jorge Masvidal but he's fighting Demian Maia. I want to fight top guys in this division.
"I'm a former lightweight champion and I think I deserve a top 10 guy."
When he makes his return to action, dos Anjos will look to rebound from a two-fight losing streak following back-to-back defeats to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson.
The bout against Alvarez cost dos Anjos the lightweight title and then the setback versus Ferguson undoubtedly put him even further away from another shot at the gold.
Between those losses and the arduous weight cut that dos Anjos endures to get down to 155 pounds, it appears he's ready to start fresh in a new division.
Just recently, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal -- two stalwarts of the lightweight division for most of their respective careers -- moved up to 170 pounds and now both are ranked in the top 10 of the division.
Dos Anjos clearly hopes for similar results when he makes his return later this year.