The landscape of the UFC has come a very long way since the scheduled bout between Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 fell through.
A foot injury sustained by the then lightweight champion a mere two weeks out from his highly anticipated and potentially history-making clash with featherweight king Conor McGregor saw the Irishman embark on a six-month adventure that gave fans two incredible welterweight clashes against Nate Diaz.
As the Irishman explored his limits two divisions above his championship weight, Dos Anjos recovered from his injury and faced Eddie Alvarez at UFC fight Night 90, only to lose his lightweight strap to the American in the first round.
Now, as Alvarez prepares to face McGregor at UFC 205 next month in another opportunity for the Irishman to make history and simultaneously hold two UFC belts, Dos Anjos has spoken to Yahoo Sports about his ambitions and how a fight with McGregor is not a goal of his.
On missing out on a lucrative fight at UFC 196, Dos Anjos reveals:
“I wasn’t disappointed just because of the pay day, I got disappointed because I didn’t fight due to injury. That was the first time this happened in my career.”
Admitting the Irishman is of little interest to him, Dos Anjos still manages to throw shade at the featherweight champion.
“Fighting McGregor is not my goal, my goal is to get my belt back. If he has the title and don’t want to hide it like he’s doing with the 145-pound title, I’ll be ready to take it back.”
Before he can even contemplate a shot at the title however, Dos Anjos faces a tough challenge against Tony Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale on November 5th. The result of this clash between the division’s top contenders will likely go on to earn a title fight against whomever emerges victorious at UFC 205.
If McGregor and Dos Anjos are successful in their respective bouts next month, the UFC and fans may well find themselves back where they were almost a year previously, in high anticipation of a lightweight title clash between two of the best in the business.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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