Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, following his UFC Vegas 14 victory over Paul Felder, called out fellow former titleholder Conor McGregor.
It was dos Anjos’s first fight back at lightweight after fighting for the past three-plus years at welterweight. He made the argument that after the win over Felder, he and McGregor were the only top lightweights that were qualified to fill the vacancy of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who recently announced his retirement.
“I think I wanna face whoever is on the line for that belt. At 36 years old, tonight was my 30th UFC appearance. If Khabib is really retired, it will leave the division wide open. If you look at the division, me and Conor, we are the only champions in that division. I think if the championship is open, me and Conor is the fight to make.”
Following dos Anjos’s comments, McGregor said he was in.
McGregor is already set to face Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event on Jan. 23, 2021, and he sounds committed to making that fight happen. A short time after his first tweet, McGregor clarified that and said he would still be down to fight dos Anjos after Poirier.
Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor were scheduled to fight several years ago
dos Anjos and McGregor had been slated to fight once before, which is reflected in the photos of McGregor’s second tweet.
At that time, dos Anjos held the lightweight belt and was set to make the second defense of it opposite McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. Following some intense press in the lead-up, dos Anjos was forced to bow out of the fight after breaking his foot during training for the bout.
McGregor went on to headline the UFC 196 fight card in a welterweight bout opposite Nate Diaz. He lost. Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round.
Related video > Rafael dos Anjos explains Conor McGregor callout
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