Rafael dos Anjos believes he gave Khabib Nurmagomedov the toughest fight of his career back when he fought the undefeated Dagestani to a decision at UFC on FOX 11 in 2014.
Khabib dominated most of the action but dos Anjos believes he came close to finishing ‘The Eagle’ with a guillotine choke that almost had the Russian ‘snoring’.
Dos Anjos, who lost the fight via unanimous, posted a video clip of his submission attempt which, per UFC Stats, didn’t actually register as an official submission attempt.
“Khabib said he is not interested in fighting Conor or Dustin as he choked both of them,” Dos Anjos posted on Instagram. “He did not choke me. As a matter of fact I got him snoring until a slipping rib saved him from [sleeping emoji]. He beat me fair and square, but no one got closer to putting the champ out.
“My plan was to beat his brother and go after that neck again. That plan fell apart for reasons beyond my control, but I will keep sharpening my tools just in case he decides to come back and chooses me.”
Dos Anjos, the former UFC lightweight champion, recently returned to lightweight and took on Paul Felder in the UFC Vegas 14 main event last month. The Brazilian earned a hard fought split decision win and believes he is just a couple of more wins away from a title shot.
Khabib, however, is currently retired. The 32-year-old decided to hang up the gloves following his second-round submission of Justin Gaethje in the UFC 254 main event. Nurmagomedov retired with a 29-0 professional recorded and is currently #1 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.