Once officially scheduled and once briefly floated, a pairing of former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor and former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos has ultimately never materialised.
Headlining UFC Vegas 14 last night at the UFC Apex facility, dos Anjos returned to his old 155-pound stomping grounds, and over five-rounds, took home a dubious, split decision win over short-notice replacement, Paul ‘The Irish Dragon’ Felder.
Utilising his sharp striking and his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, dos Anjos scored six separate takedowns and used his top-pressure to ultimately smother a very gritty and equally sharp, Felder.
Following the clear 50-45 (x2), and dubious 47-48 split decision victory, the Niterol native spoke with media at the post-fight press conference, where he echoed his calls for an eventual pairing with Dubliner, McGregor.
“With Khabib (Nurmagomedov) leaving the division, I think it will leave the division wide open,” dos Anjos said. “If you look at the rankings, we have three former interim champions: Tony (Ferguson), (Justin) Gaethje, and Dustin Poirier. The only two real [undisputed] champs in that division are me and Conor (McGregor). We were scheduled to fight twice. If the champ leaves the division, why not.
Originally scheduled to headline UFC 196 in March of 2016, dos Anjos, the then undisputed lightweight champion was forced to withdraw from his title defence against McGregor, after he suffered a broken metatarsal in his left foot, allowing Nate Diaz to draft in and face McGregor on short notice.
Whilst a rematch with the above-mentioned, Poirier is currently expected to land at UFC 257 on January 23rd. – possibly on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE, McGregor has voiced is interest in finally standing opposite dos Anjos, but not before he re-runs his 2014 clash with Poirier.
“Respect to both men (Paul Felder and Rafael dos Anjos) for making this fight and event tonight. Good fight! I’m in for sure.“
Respect to both men for making this fight and event happen tonight.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 15, 2020
I’m in for sure.
“Dustin (Poirier) first but I’m down for it all. Throwback to this classic lol. Look at Dana (White) hahahah. Vintage MMA entertainment. El Chap!“
Dustin first, but I’m down for it all. Throwback to this classic lol.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 15, 2020
Look at Dana hahahah
Vintage MMA entertainment.
El Chap! pic.twitter.com/GiC3yl8HB6
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.