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Morning Report: Rafael dos Anjos interested in lost bout with Conor McGregor: ‘We already have a history’

Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor square off at UFC 197 press conference.
Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor square off at UFC 197 press conference | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Five years ago, Rafael dos Anjos was the UFC lightweight champion and was expecting to defend his title in a superfight against featherweight champion Conor McGregor. However, in the lead-up to the fight dos Anjos broke his foot, and instead McGregor faced Nate Diaz who ended up submitting McGregor and effectively killing the McGregor-dos Anjos matchup. Now, RDA would like to get it back.

“I believe when I (was scheduled to fight) Conor he was in the best moment of his career, and I was in the best moment of my career,” dos Anjos told MMA Junkie. “I had the belt at the time, and I was feeling pretty confident at that time, and I was in great shape. Definitely, I think I’m a very bad matchup for Conor, especially for my style, my kicks and southpaw stance, my grappling skills, my wrestling skills. But that’s something that passed already. I think with the results of his last fights, I think our paths can cross again, but there’s so many options right now in that division.”

Since they were scheduled to face each other, dos Anjos and McGregor have had very different career arcs. Dos Anjos lost the lightweight title in his next bout to Eddie Alvarez and moved up to welterweight where he spent the last four years excelling, even fighting for an interim title. Meanwhile, McGregor ended up avenging his loss to Diaz and then won the lightweight belt from Alvarez and became the biggest star in the history of MMA. Lately though, things have once again changed for the two as RDA recently made his successful return to the lightweight division and just last month McGregor lost his rematch with Dustin Poirier. Given their respective positions in the division and the history the two have, dos Anjos believes now would be the time to finally make that fight happen.

“I think Conor would be a good fight because even though he’s coming off a loss, he still has a better position on the rankings than I do,” RDA said. “I think he’d be a good option and he draws a lot of attention. It could be a good fight because we already have a history. But like I said, we still have all the good options. The division is crazy. It’s a good mix right now.”

McGregor is currently ranked sixth in the lightweight division with dos Anjos coming in at number seven. However, unfortunately for dos Anjos, McGregor is angling for a trilogy fight with Poirier next, meaning once again dos Anjos could lose out on his “red panty night”. If that’s the case, RDA is fine with that too, saying that anyone above him in the rankings would also make sense as he tries to climb his way back to the belt.

“I think anybody ahead of me in the rankings would be a good fight,” dos Anjos said. “I see Gaethje, he mentioned my name, Oliveira, all these guys, Chandler, even Tony (Ferguson). He’s coming off two losses, but he’s ahead of me in the rankings and could be a good (fight). Tony was a guy that beat me on the follow-up fight when I lost my title. It could be a good way for me to build up, to re-write my history again, and to have that rematch would be cool too.

“So there’s so many options, but I’m pretty much open to fight all these guys. Gaethje, Oliveira, Tony, Chandler, all these guys (and) Conor.”


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Tragic. Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul postponed.


The A-Side Live Chat.

Free fight.

KnuckleMania Press Conference.

Dan Hardy responds to Stephen A. Smith.


Dustin responds.


Tony picking a fight.

Nick looking fit.


Hype man.


Stipe simultaneously looking better and worse.

This is . . . just ouch.

Bisping going back to his roots.


Marion Reneau (9-6-1) vs. Macy Chiasson (6-1); UFC Vegas 20, Feb. 27.

Emily Whitmire (4-4) vs. Sam Hughes (5-2); UFC Vegas 20, Feb. 27.

Arnold Allen (16-1) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (11-1); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 10.

Tracy Cortez (9-1) vs. Justine Kish (7-3); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 17.

Damon Jackson (18-4-1) vs. T.J. Laramie (12-4); UFC Fight Night, May. 1.


I’m not a finance guy, but this seems like it’s pretty bad for ONE Championship.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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