Rafael dos Anjos may have a score to settle with lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, the last fighter who defeated him prior to winning the title. However, that has not stopped the UFC lightweight champion from showing his support for the injured Dagestani.
Khabib, who was scheduled to make his first in-cage appearance since April 2014, suffered his third consecutive injury and was forced to withdraw once again from a scheduled bout. The injury sustained was a broken rib.
"I feel bad for him," dos Anjos told Submission Radio. "He's a young guy. I want him to recover because I want to fight him again. That's my will. But I feel bad for him. He's a young guy, and I really don't wish anything bad for my opponents. I want them all [to be] the best. Especially [because] he's been hurt for, like you said, three times in a row. And man, I wish him all the best and I really feel bad for him."
Khabib's injury woes have been such a burden on his career over the past two years that the lightweight contender suggested that he may retire from professional competition. Dos Anjos doubts Khabib is serious about retirement but understands his frustration.
"No [it wouldn't] disappoint me, I just feel bad for him. Like, [if the] guy's gonna retire - I think he's 25 or 26 - and gonna retire at that age, undefeated record, he's gonna retire at 25 years old? But I think he's just mad right now, you know, just sad for a while. But once he recovers 100 percent, he's going to come back to fight. I think so."