Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos still wants that one fight that got away back when he ruled the division: none other than Conor McGregor. Once expected to take on Conor back in 2016, ‘RDA’ saw the fight fall through when he was forced out of the match with an injury. However, the Brazilian believes he might be closer than ever to having his wish granted now.
Although he does not know when exactly a fight against McGregor would take place, Rafael tells Ag Fight the pairing is a very possible one now that Conor is back and the division is beginning to rotate again. In the Brazilian’s opinion, the matchup just makes sense, even though there might be more appealing pairings for the former double champion.
“He (McGregor) picks his fights, and one with me will always make sense,” dos Anjos said. “It was meant to happen once and it didn’t. Now that the pieces are moving again in the division, I think there’s a big chance of it happening. He has other options, though, like a trilogy with Nate Diaz or Dustin Poirier. He’s ahead of me in the rankings. Our clash is even closer now.”
After watching McGregor lose to Dustin Poirier back in January, Rafael believes he was able to notice some flaws he is willing to explore should the UFC pair the two of them up again. From what he learned by watching the fight, RDA believes Conor has a hard time adapting to difficult situations in fights, which might be a path to victory.
“Poirier had a good gameplan,” RDA said. “He didn’t go out there to just strike. Right off the bat he took Conor down and that confused him. Conor is an excellent fighter, he has great boxing. He’s very technical, but he can’t make adjustments in the middle of a fight. If the fight doesn’t go down the way he imagined, he gets lost. He doesn’t deal well with getting hit. When he takes a punch, he makes it noticeable right away. He’s not in a good moment, but a fight is a fight. Fighters are all about motivation. Let’s see if he can take advantage of his bad moment to get focused, analyze what went wrong and come back strong.”
In his last outing, Rafael dos Anjos (30-13) made a successful return to the lightweight division, edging out Paul Felder via split decision in a ‘Fight of The Night’ performance, back in November 2020. The win snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 36-year-old, who had suffered a couple of unanimous decision defeats to both Michael Chiesa and Leon Edwards.