Rafael dos Anjos is no longer fighting at lightweight, but is still interested in fighting Conor McGregor.
dos Anjos and “The Notorious” were booked to meet at UFC 196 in March 2016, back when the Brazilian held the UFC lightweight championship and McGregor was looking to make history after winning the featherweight gold. A broken foot forced the Brazilian out of the event, and Nate Diaz stepped in.
McGregor became a bigger star despite losing to Diaz that night. dos Anjos is now fighting Neil Magny as a welterweight at Saturday’s UFC 215 in Edmonton, Canada, but is still interested in fighting the Irishman one day.
"I think about the business, you know, but I also have a kind of the old school mentality, I take everything personal,” dos Anjos told Ariel Helwani on Tuesday’s edition of The MMA Hour. "This guy, he didn't respect me and didn't respect my family. I believe I could put my hands on this guy one day and make that fight happen. I feel that we have unfinished business.”
It’s still unclear who will McGregor face in his return to the Octagon after boxing Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 27. A trilogy bout with Diaz seems to interest all parts involved, but the fact that the UFC has created an interim belt for UFC 216’s Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee creates another possibility.
"I don't believe he will defend his title anytime soon because it’s not things he likes to do,” dos Anjos said of McGregor. "He’s gonna try to do different things, for sure. He’s gonna try to fight Diaz or someone else. He’s not gonna fight Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee for the title. For sure. But, you know, I’m here. I believe we have unfinished business. I was the champion at that time and I got hurt, I broke my foot. I think that fight is something for the future that I’m still thinking.”
dos Anjos received some heat online after calling McGregor “chicken heart” following his 10th round knockout defeat to Mayweather in boxing, and explains his social media comments.
Conor is a first round fighter, no cardio no heart you still owns me a fight #fouxo #chickenheart— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) August 27, 2017
"He has skills. Don't get me wrong, Conor McGregor has skills," dos Anjos said. "He has done what maybe nobody else would do in MMA, fighting Floyd Mayweather, but here’s the thing: he’s a fast starter. People talk a lot of crap on me on Twitter because of that, but I’m not gonna please Conor so everybody else can agree with me.
"I wasn't happy because he lost because I doesn't think that way. I am the one that steps in the Octagon. If I'm being happy about somebody else's loss, that will happen with me too. That’s called karma. I don't play that game. It's not who I am. He’s a fast starter. He started so hard and Floyd using his technique, his experience, and he got tired. He could do way better, but he got tired."
The ex-UFC champion admits he didn’t expect the fight to go 10 rounds, but doesn’t think that’s thanks to McGregor’s skillset.
"I thought it would be faster but I knew Floyd would use his strategy, his experience," he said. "I thought the fight would be faster, but Floyd is coming out of retirement. Even Conor said in the weigh-ins, he looked (in the) worst shape I ever saw him, and I agree. Floyd in (his) worst shape, his timing was off. He's a 40-year-old man, he has so much experience I thought the fight would be quicker, but lasted 10 rounds."