After dominating Thiago Moises en route to a fourth-round submission at UFC on ESPN 26, Islam Makhachev (20-1), shot up the rankings. Before the bout with Moises, Makhachev sat at the number 15 spot. He is now ranked #5. dos Anjos, currently ranked at #7, believes the jump has to do with Makhachevs famous teammates.
In a recent interview with AgFight, dos Anjos explained his frustrations about the Russian fighter leapfrogging him in the rankings.
“Makhachev was behind me in the rankings, but suddenly jumped up and is in front of me. Unfortunately, the UFC is like that now,” dos Anjos stated.
“We’ve been talking nonsense on the internet, but finally let’s settle the score. It will be a good fight to put me in the mix, especially now that he’s got the hype all over him. I’ll show you that I’m alive, that I’m still in the game. I have complete confidence that I will beat Makhachev.
“When you have guys like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] in the corner, [Daniel] Cormier talking all the time, it creates even more hype. I even give [Beneil] Dariush as an example. He beat the same guys as Makhachev, even better, he was more convincing, but nobody talks about him. He beat Thiago and went to fifth in the ranking”, explained the former world champion.
Rafael dos Anjos’ last outing saw the Brazilian take a split decision over a game Paul Felder in November 2020. Felder stepped in on five days’ notice to replace an injured Makhachev. The bout marked dos Anjos’ first foray back to the lightweight division after three years spent at welterweight with mixed results.
Do you think Rafael dos Anjos still has what it takes to make another run at the lightweight title?