UFC lightweight Rafael dos Anjos says he is open to fighting Islam Makhachev but there is a special condition that needs to be met first.
Dos Anjos and Makhachev were supposed to meet back at UFC 254 in October and then at a UFC Fight Night card in November, but the fight was postponed and eventually scratched. Dos Anjos instead fought Paul Felder and beat him by split decision, while Makhachev returned to the Octagon this past Saturday at UFC 259, defeating Drew Dober via third-round submission.
With RDA a top-10 ranked fighter and with Makhachev quickly climbing the ranks following the win over Dober, the Russian has been seen on social media calling out the Brazilian, but so far we haven’t heard RDA’s side accept the fight — until now.
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 10, 2021
Taking to his social media on Wednesday, RDA told Makhachev that he would fight him, but only on one condition. The condition is that he gets a rematch with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov if he’s able to get by Makhachev, the champ’s lifelong friend.
Dos Anjos and Nurmagomedov met in April 2014, with the Russian winning a unanimous decision that night. Despite losing to Nurmagomedov that night, RDA would go on a tear afterward, defeating Jason High, Benson Henderson, and then Nate Diaz to earn a title shot. Dos Anjos would later go on to defeat Anthony Pettis for the UFC lightweight championship in 2015 and he successfully defended it once against Donald Cerrone.
While an RDA vs. Makhachev matchup seems like the type of fight the UFC would book next, the stipulation about fighting Nurmagomedov afterward is something that might get in the way of it happening. Nurmagomedov is currently in a quasi-retirement state and, even if he did fight again, it seems unlikely a rematch with RDA would be the ticket