UFC 196 was supposed to be Rafael Dos Anjos vs Conor McGregor for the lightweight belt. But the former backed out during the last minute due to a foot injury.
For dos Anjos, this was a missed opportunity to get a fat paycheck and possibly give McGregor the worst beating of his life. And after seeing Nate Diaz, his replacement, submit McGregor in the second round of their fight with a rear-naked choke, the thought of him being in Nate Diaz’s place, started to sink in.
“I fought Nate Diaz already and I knew Conor, we’ll he’s a good fighter, but I think I can give him the worse beating of his life,“ said dos Anjos in an interview. McGregor was aiming to become a two-division champion but that dream went down the drain with the pull out of dos Anjos and the lost to Diaz.
As a result, McGregor is expected to slip back down to featherweight where he is the current champion. For Rafael, this means a potential super fight is still on the horizon. For him, the missed opportunity would have meant the biggest paycheck of his career. But right now, he does not want to dwell on this.
For now, the UFC lightweight champion is setting his sights on recovery. His foot is still in a cast but he is aching to get back to training in the next few months.
With McGregor now out of the picture, dos Anjos still has plenty of challenge ahead of him in his division including Eddie Alvarez or the winner of the April 15 match between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Dos Anjos would like his chances of avenging his loss to Nurmagomedov in UFC 200.
But all that could be shelved for the meantime as the lightweight champion expressed his willingness to move up to welterweight and challenge the current champion Robbie Lawler.
“I don’t know what the plan of the UFC is but if they need someone to fight welterweight, I am ready to fight.”