Rafael dos Anjos is happy Islam Makhachev won’t fight for UFC gold next time out.
After Makhachev TKO’d Bobby Green in the first round, he said he wouldn’t fight again unless it was for the belt. However, a week later he said he would fight dos Anjos on short notice, but Dana White revealed the Dagestani native turned the fight down which didn’t surprise the Brazilian.
“You guys heard what Dana [White] said, Islam didn’t take the fight,” dos Anjos said on The MMA Hour. “I said 165 [pounds] — like Bobby Green jumped into the fight with him at 160, he couldn’t fight at 165? Then he said 170 and they called me and said, ‘Islam wants to go 170.’ I said OK, no problem. … But the next morning, ‘Oh, no, no, we’re not taking the fight.’
“I called his bluff. I think that’s what it was,” dos Anjos said. “They probably thought, ‘RDA will never take this fight at 170,’ but you know what, I was training, I didn’t want to waste a whole fight camp, I hadn’t fought for 16 months, I just wanted to go fight someone.”
Along with Islam Makhachev turning the fight down, Dana White said he won’t get the next title shot and he will now have to face Beneil Dariush next. For Rafael dos Anjos, he says he is happy that is the case as he didn’t think Makhachev should’ve gotten the title shot anyway.
“It feels great, man. It feels really good,” dos Anjos said, laughing. “I even texted Beneil [Dariush], ‘Now I got your fight back!’ That’s the price he pays for playing politics. Play these little games, and now he had his title shot secured and now he’s got to fight another one.”
Rafael dos Anjos beat Renato Moicano by unanimous decision at UFC 272 to extend his win steak to two and improve to 2-0 at lightweight since his return.