clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rafael Dos Anjos says Khabib Nurmagomedov 'just held me down'

Following a warm welcome back home in Brazil after stealing the show from Anthony Pettis at UFC 185, Rafael Dos Anjos reflected on his shortcomings against Khabib Nurmagomedov last year.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

As one of the most unassuming contenders in the deep waters of the UFC's lightweight fold, Rafael Dos Anjos sent shockwaves throughout the MMA community when he conquered the divisions most flamboyant striker at UFC 185. While the freshly crowned Brazilian was greeted with applause from his neighboring Rio de Janeiro locals, the hometown crowd were well aware of the chinks in the armor revealed during his UFC on Fox 11 tangle with Khabib Nurmagomedov last year.

The Brazilian media wasted no time in quizzing the Kings MMA representative on his loss to the relentless Russian:

"He’s a tough guy, but I fought again 45 days after facing him," dos Anjos said. "I was calling my manager ten minutes after the fight and asking to fight again. ‘If someone gets hurt next week, I want to fight’. He didn’t hurt me. He just held me down and killed my game. It was basically a grappling match. He has a strong game close to the fence. Not chasing him maybe is a good strategy.

"No excuse, he was better that night," he continued. "I was under pressure, I had issues before that fight, but he was better. Next time, the fight will be different. I only lost one of my last 10 fights. I want to clear that up."

Despite clocking up four dominant consecutive wins against some of the premier lightweight combatants, RDA's loss to the Dagestani still looms over his championship accomplishment.

Doing what he does best, the highly regarded Sambo competitor swarmed Dos Anjos from the opening bell, overwhelming the Brazilian with unrelenting waves of grappling attacks. Nurmagomedov was all over Dos Anjos like a cheap suit for the three round bout to secure a unanimous decision victory. From the extracted interview above (courtesy of MMAFighting), it would appear as though the 30-year-old champion is predicting his former Russian foe to add another feather to his undefeated cap after he locks horns with Donald Cerrone at UFC 187.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt is anticipating a return to the Octagon in September, after he wounded his MCL just three weeks before his showdown with Anthony Pettis.

Dos Anjos concludes by discussing his injury and expressing his desire to defend the lightweight strap on home soil:

"I would love to fight in Brazil, but the UFC makes the call. We have to see their schedule, see if it’s going to work," he said. "When my knee and foot are better, I will be available to fight. I believe I will be cleared to train hard in three months, and then I will need at least three months to get ready for a title fight."

(Transcripts via MMAFighting)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow