A familiar-foe has presented himself as a potential next opponent for former two-weight world champion, Conor McGregor. Originally scheduled to headline UFC 196 opposite the Dubliner, former UFC lightweight titleholder, Rafael dos Anjos has called for somewhat of a rebooking alongside, McGregor – four years after their initial pairing.
Brazilian all-rounder, dos Anjos was set to launch the second defence of his 155-pound throne, against then featherweight best, McGregor, until he was forced from the headlining clash, two weeks prior to the March event, after he suffered a broken metatarsal during his final sparring session in preparation for the bout.
dos Anjos would go on to lose the title in his return to the decorated, Eddie Alvarez, three months later, while fan-favourite, Nate Diaz would draft in on short-notice, defeating McGregor with a stunning second-round rear-naked choke – handing the Crumlin native his first promotional defeat.
The path of both dos Anjos and McGregor would fail to cross again, with the Rio de Janeiro native instead testing welterweight waters, following a loss to former interim lightweight best, Tony Ferguson. McGregor, on the other hand, would avenge his loss to Diaz in a hugely-close August rematch, before defeating the above-noted, Alvarez to make UFC history as he was crowned with lightweight gold – the first competitor in the promotion’s antiquity to hold two titles simultaneously.
dos Anjos, 35, has since featured eight times at 170-pounds, while McGregor made his last Octagon outing, also at welterweight, in a forty-second demolition of a two-time foe of dos Anjos, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in January.
Taking to his official Twitter account last night, the Brazilian issued a call out to McGregor, at a volley of varying weight classes – also condemning his recent retirement.
“Let’s do it @TheNotoriousMMA if you’re looking for a fight I’m the guy. 155(-pounds), 165(-pounds) or 170(-pounds) you know I’m always game. F*ck this retirement sh*t. @danawhite @seanshelby @ChaelSonnen @ufc“
dos Anjos most recently featured at UFC Fight Night Raleigh in January, dropping his second consecutive loss, as he faltered opposite divison-mover, Michael Chiesa, following a decision defeat to perennial welterweight challenger, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards.
For McGregor, a dance partner for an earmarked July return failed to materialise – before he ultimately announced his retirement from mixed martial arts following the main event of UFC 250 on his official Twitter. Although McGregor is yet to remove himself from the USADA testing-pool, a potential opponent has still failed to rear his head.
Tentatively floated opponents, Justin Gaethje, and Kamaru Usman are both set to clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Gilbert Burns, respectively – while Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal is still involved in public negotiation mishaps with the promotion.