You only need to look back a few months for one of the great "what-if?" moments in MMA history. Conor McGregor's fight, rivalry, loss, and subsequent immediate rematch with Nate Diaz all started with Rafael dos Anjos pulling out of the UFC 196 main event with an injured foot. McGregor's quest to become a simultaneous two-division champion would have to wait, and he took the Diaz fight at 170 lbs. Meanwhile, RDA went from major pay-per-view headliner to a Fight Pass main event, and lost his lightweight belt to Eddie Alvarez by 1st round TKO last month.
In last week's UFC 202 conference call, McGregor brought up RDA's injury and how if that hadn't happened, he would've been the lightweight champion.
"Realistically I should be a two-weight UFC world champion," McGregor said. "If I fought Rafael dos Anjos, if he didn't pussy out of that last one and showed up, the shots I cracked Nate with in the first eight minutes would've KO'd Rafael dos Anjos stiff. That's no question."
It didn't take long for RDA to reply to this remark.
McGregor will be rematching Nate Diaz on August 20th, while dos Anjos' quest to reclaim his 155 lbs title starts with a November 5th main event against Tony Ferguson. Oh how significantly different things could've been had dos Anjos vs. McGregor happened as originally intended.