What year is this? 2016?
So in the case that you have no idea what’s going on, I’ll fill you in from the beginning.
Basically, former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos has re-lit the fire inside of him, and he seems as motivated as ever. This is a great thing to see, because as many fighters have stated before, mindset plays a big part in an MMA fighter’s success. However, this has led to him calling out McGregor (who is ranked #4), whilst being unranked in the Lightweight division.
This all started off when Dos Anjos was part of an interview where he seemed of unsure of his future in the sport, and hinted at the idea that the UFC was not interested in offering him another contract.
Former fighter Chael Sonnen then made a video slapping some sense into Dos Anjos, reminding him that he was a world champion and can basically do whatever he wants (which you can see below).
Rafael took the video to heart, and would later make an Instagram post updating the fans. In the Instagram video, Dos Anjos thanked Chael for the kind words, and basically said that he has found the motivation to continue fighting.
Dos Anjos stated that he would be returning to the Lightweight division (as he has been competing at Welterweight), and would be making another run for the title.
Honestly, Dos Anjos looks ripped in this video, and I applaud him for wanting to challenge himself, especially after such a long career. It is fair to say that Dos Anjos is still an amazing fighter, as he has beaten good Welterweights despite his notable size disadvantage.
Where this takes a weird turn is when, seven days after posting that Instagram video, Dos Anjos calls out Conor McGregor!? What?
There’s a few reasons why this makes absolutely ZERO sense. Allow me to explain.
First of all, Rafael hasn’t fought at Lightweight for four years. This isn’t too big of a deal for Dos Anjos, but McGregor has nothing to gain from this fight.
Why would McGregor fight Dos Anjos? Dos Anjos doesn’t have a ranking to offer him, and is also at the tail end of his career. Even if McGregor fought him at Welterweight, we all know McGregor’s real division is 155. There’s like a 0.00001% chance McGregor would ever accept to fight Usman for the Welterweight strap.
And then if McGregor accepts, he’s in a lose-lose situation. If he loses to Dos Anjos, he basically just gave Dos Anjos a Lightweight ranking, and a bunch of hype to go with it. And if he wins, everybody will say he just beat a washed-up Dos Anjos, just like they did when he beat Cerrone.
The difference is Cerrone had a rank, and had beaten Alex Hernandez and Al Iaquinta to earn his Lightweight ranking. And Cerrone was coming off a win! And he still had to work his way up. Dos Anjos lost his last two!
Now don’t get me wrong, this would be a great fight to see. Just not now.
If Dos Anjos wants to fight McGregor, I think it makes sense for the fans, as they have had their history. They were famously set to fight at UFC 197, until Dos Anjos pulled out, and Diaz stepped in.
However, they were also briefly linked in a fight for the interim Welterweight championship, from which McGregor pulled out prior to the UFC announcing it, being replaced by Colby Covington.
The storyline is there. But he simply has to work his way back up. We know he still has it, as noted by his submission win over Kevin Lee just last year, who is a good fighter at Lightweight.
Kevin Lee knocked out Gregor Gillespie shortly after his submission loss to Dos Anjos, and Gillespie is currently ranked #11. Gillespie would be a perfect fight for Rafael’s return to 155. If he beats Gillespie, perhaps another win over a mid-ranked opponent could earn him that money fight against McGregor.
Sorry Dos Anjos. I love you, and I’d love to see you fight McGregor, but it simply doesn’t make sense right now.
Glad to see you’re back though!