Khabib Nurmagomedov has been campaigning hard for a scrap with lightweight champ Anthony Pettis as of late, but Rafael dos Anjos is hoping to make his case for a title shot, this weekend at UFC on FOX 13.
Dos Anjos is scheduled to throw down with Nate Diaz on Saturday night, and if he wins, the #3 ranked lightweight will remain in striking distance of a championship fight.
The problem is, however, that the #1 ranked contender Nurmagomedov handed dos Anjos a decision loss earlier this year. So, it would be kind of hard for the UFC to grant dos Anjos a shot instead of the feared grappler right?
Well, while speaking to the media this week, here is some of what dos Anjos had to say about his title shot aspirations (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“The only guy before me is Khabib (Nurmagomedov),” dos Anjos said. “But he’s out, he has a problem with his knee. My focus right now is on the fight on Saturday, but if I beat Diaz, I really would love to get my chance. I’ve been in the UFC for six long years and have 16 fights. I’m really looking forward to getting my chance.”
It sounds like Nurmagomedov believes he’ll be good to go in early 2015, so considering Pettis just submitted the now #2 ranked Gilbert Melendez last week, the UFC could likely move forward with that fight if they wished.
While one would think dos Anjos would need a big win over Diaz, and perhaps a setback for Nurmagomedov to land a title fight, the well rounded fighter offered this take on the champ’s game.
“He’s a tough fight, but I always see some holes in his game and I’m looking forward to working on [them].”
How about that “Showtime”? Dos Anjos did credit Pettis for having good striking and submissions, so, perhaps he’s referring to the champ’s clinch game or wrestling skills?
All this aside, dos Anjos has to get by Diaz first, who has proven to be a very dangerous opponent time and time again.
UFC on FOX 13 will be hosted by the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and will feature Junior dos Santos taking on Stipe Miocic in the main event.