PHOENIX, Ariz. -- For six years, a UFC title shot eluded Rafael dos Anjos. No longer.
Following the Brazilian's lopsided victory over Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 13, UFC President Dana White announced at Saturday night's post-fight press conference that dos Anjos, rather than injured No. 1 ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov, will be the next man to challenge lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
"Pettis texted me right after the fight and said ‘wow, [dos Anjos] murdered him. I'm ready to go. I'll fight either one of them.'" White said.
"I would say if Khabib is healthy right now, probably Khabib (gets the shot). But he's not. So it's dos Anjos."
dos Anjos vowed to make a statement against Diaz, and he did just that, punishing both of Diaz's legs with a relentless array of low kicks and dominating virtually every aspect of the fight to score a unanimous decision victory. Two judges even awarded dos Anjos rare 30-26 scorecards for his handiwork.
The win pushes dos Anjos' record to an impressive 8-1 since 2012, and adds to a résumé that is among the most decorated in the division, highlighted by victories over Donald Cerrone and former champ Benson Henderson.
Now, over half a decade after his UFC debut, dos Anjos will hope to add Pettis to that list as well.
"I've been in the UFC for six years," dos Anjos said. "I have 17 fights. I moved to California three years ago to chase my dreams and I've been working a lot. I get better every day, I feel that I get better every day, and that's my dream. I want to be the first UFC lightweight Brazilian to hold the belt.
"For the title, I'll fight [Pettis] next week. That's what I want. I'm ready to go."