While waiting for his next fight after beating Paul Felder in his return to lightweight this past November, former champion Rafael dos Anjos shared his opinion regarding the future of the division following the main bouts of UFC 257.
"Hooker didnt show up to fight, I have no doubt Chandler is a tough guy, but I agree with Poirier when he said he wouldn't fight him for the belt,” dos Anjos told Sherdog.com. “There are a lot of top guys in this division like [Charles Oliveira]and [Justin Gaethje] who worked hard, and had a lot of tough fights to reach the top of the rankings. He should, at least, face one more challenge before fighting for the gold.”
However, dos Anjos would be more than willing to step in if the UFC offered him a matchup against Chandler — or any other top contender with some momentum.
"I´m game all the time. If UFC invites me to face Chandler, I´m ready to go,” he said. “I’d rather face someone coming from a win like Poirier, Chandler or ‘Do Bronx’ than [Tony] Ferguson or Gaethje, who are coming from defeats.”
As far as a showdown with Conor McGregor, dos Anjos doesn’t foresee that bout entering the matchmakers’ plans. Dos Anjos and McGregor were supposed to meet at UFC 196 before the Brazilian broke his foot, paving the way for the Irishman’s rivalry with Nate Diaz.
"I dont see myself as a good option for Conor. I´m a southpaw, I have a grappling game that is dangerous for him, I use a lot of those calf kicks,” dos Anjos said. “In my opinion, it would be much more interesting if they promote a trilogy with Poirier or Diaz. The same works for Diaz. My game just doesn’t fit with his style, and the biggest proof for that is that I submitted him easily and he never asked for a rematch. I´m a better grappler, better striker and my jiu-jitsu is superior to his. So I understand why he never called my name again.”
Dos Anjos also revealed that as soon as UFC and his manager decides his next opponent he will return to Brazil to begin his camp at Nova União.
"In Brazil we say that we don’t make changes to a winning team,” he said. “Working with Pederneiras and all his structures was such a great experience. Be sure that in Nova União I will always bring the best Rafael dos Anjos to the Octagon, and soon I´ll be fighting for that belt again.”