Ariel Helwani, the famed MMA reporter, has given his take on the current situation regarding Conor McGregor and why a matchup with Rafael dos Anjos could be worth revisiting.
Whether he sees the fight happening at 170lbs or a catchweight is anyone’s guess – but since moving to the welterweight division, it’s fair to say that RDA has managed to find a good home for himself.
Triumphant in his UFC Rochester pairing with Kevin Lee, dos Anjos has managed to overturn a two-fight skid – one that saw him lose out to the now-champion Kamaru Usman and the former interim-title holder, Colby Covington.
The question now, is where exactly dos Anjos will go next.
Ariel Helwani, as it turns out, has an answer.
Citing the UFC 196 blockbuster event that originally showcased a matchup between then-featherweight champion Conor McGregor and the lightweight king RDA, Helwani makes the case that the UFC should look to re-book it.
Taken from a recent article on ESPN in which Ariel discusses current events in the MMA world, he explains why the time is perfect to re-ignite the fight that was supposed to be McGregor’s first shot at history back in 2016.
“For dos Anjos the “what if” has to still nag at him. Remember, dos Anjos, then the lightweight champion, was scheduled to fight McGregor at UFC 196 back in 2016 in a champ vs. champ fight. Unfortunately for dos Anjos, a broken foot forced him out of the fight less than two weeks before the event. Nate Diaz stepped in, and the rest is history.
“But here’s dos Anjos, who is just 34 years old yet feels a whole lot older, still thriving in the UFC almost 11 years after he debuted.
“That’s ultimately what he wants: one last run at a title. But what about one last run at McGregor? The UFC actually tried to make the fight last May for the interim welterweight title, believe it or not, but the bus incident in Brooklyn halted those plans. McGregor, as he has been known to do these days, tweeted about RDA moments after his win on Saturday.
“Does that mean he’s interested in giving it another go, or is he just looking for attention? Hard to say these days, but it would be a nice story if those plans are revisited before RDA’s career is all said and done. He has earned that shot.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena