Rafael dos Anjos impressed on Saturday night at UFC On FOX 13 with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Nate Diaz and according to Dana White he’ll now get a title shot against current champion Anthony Pettis.
““Just for the record, [Pettis] texted me after the fight and said, ‘Wow, [dos Anjos] murdered him,” White stated at the UFC On FOX 13 post-fight press conference. “[He said], ‘I’ll be ready to go. I’ll fight whichever. If Khabib [Nurmagomedov] is healthy I’ll fight him, if not I’ll fight dos Anjos.’”
Though he’s currently ranked as the division’s No.1 contender, Nurmagomedov is suffering a torn miniscus that’ll keep him out of action for six months however which rules him out of title contention for now.
“I would say if Khabib was healthy right now, probably Khabib [would be next], but he’s not,” White said. “So it’s dos Anjos.”
As it happens dos Anjos has only lost once in the past four years and that came by decision against Nurmagomedov in April of this year.
That aside dos Anjos has been on an absolute tear through the lightweight division, logging three convincing victories since that defeat, making it look easy against the likes of the aforementioned Diaz and Ben Henderson which is no mean feat, while almongst his victims last year was another current top 5 contender Donald Cerrone.
“That was the best news that I had, I’m so happy” dos Anjos said after learning that he would fight for the title in 2015. “I’ve been working hard for the past six years in the UFC. That’s my dream. I think my hard work paid off. I fought a lot this year… I fought four times in eight months. I just need to take some rest and time off with my family and start getting back on track so I can get this belt.”
Not so happy about the way things have panned out is Nurmagomedov who’s undoubtedly been the dominant force amongst the division’s top contenders in recent times with a 6-0 record so far in the Octagon together with a perfect overall record of 22-0.
He’s complained before that the division’s top fighters are scared to fight him and he now believes that the current champion is being shielded from him.
“Now Pettis is in hurry to fight,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Twitter. “I feel like everybody is protecting him from me. I ready April or May @danawhite @lorenzofertitta.”
If Nurmagomedov is ready by that stage then there really is no reason why the UFC couldn’t wait, so maybe he has a point here.