In 2016, Rafael dos Anjos was the undisputed UFC lightweight champion and was set to be the recipient of the ever-elusive “Red Panty Night” via “The Notorious” Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Unfortunately, dos Anjos had to walk away from the cash after breaking his foot in training. Dos Anjos still could have fought McGregor for the lightweight championship later that year had he held on to the title, but since he lost the title to Eddie Alvarez, it was Alvarez who would face McGregor in one of the highest-grossing pay-per-views-in UFC history.
Rafael dos Anjos has not forgotten about Conor McGregor as the years have passed by and has called for a fight against the superstar as many others have, but it is still yet to happen. Thus, fans are left to wonder what would have happened if it was Rafael dos Anjos who faced Conor McGregor at UFC 205 in the UFC’s historic Madison Square Garden debut instead of Eddie Alvarez.
Rafael dos Anjos Theorizes Why McGregor Has Not Mentioned Him
Dos Anjos believes that McGregor’s lack of attention towards him over the years is because both he and McGregor know how the fight would play out between the two and that the Irishman would be better off facing an easier opponent next after his UFC 257 loss to Dustin Poirier.
“I don’t see myself as a good option for Conor,” dos Anjos told Sherdog. “I´m a southpaw, I have a grappling game that is dangerous for him, I use a lot of those calf kicks,” dos Anjos said. “In my opinion, it would be much more interesting if they promote a trilogy with Poirier or Diaz.
“The same works for Diaz. My game just doesn’t fit with his style, and the biggest proof for that is that I (defeated) him easily and he never asked for a rematch. I´m a better grappler, better striker and my jiu-jitsu is superior to his. So I understand why he never called my name again.”
Rafael dos Anjos is currently ranked #7 in the lightweight division with Conor McGregor only one spot above him at #6. Purely from a rankings standpoint, this fight that got away between McGregor and dos Anjos makes more sense now than it ever has before.
Do you think it’s too late for a Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos fight to ever happen?