Thanks to his memorable win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 185, Rafael dos Anjos is the new lightweight champ, and his first title defence will come against someone he’s faced before.
On May 23rd, Donald Cerrone will battle fellow contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, and the winner will almost certainly be booked to face dos Anjos later this year. The newly crowned champ appeared on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour” and dos Anjos was asked if he has a preference, in terms of who he faces. The Brazilian scored a decision win over Donald Cerrone in 2013, but last April, he was decisioned by Nurmagomedov.
So, would the 30 year-old rather battle Nurmagomedov? Considering it would present him an opportunity to avenge his defeat? Well, here is some of what dos Anjos had to say (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“I still have that loss against Khabib,” dos Anjossaid. “Khabib has a tough fight, Cerrone is a tough opponent. I don’t know how it’s gonna be to come back from a bad injury and fight against him, but we’ll see. If he beats Cerrone, okay, I’ll fight. I don’t have any preference. I’ll be ready for anyone of them.”
But, when dos Anjos was asked if a bout with Nurmagomedov would be more interesting, considering he lost to him before, he stated:
“Yeah, I think so, because I lost to him and I would like to get it cleared,” he agreed. “But it’s another time now. Everything changed. The next fight will be a different fight.”
Regardless of who dos Anjos faces it should make for a compelling bout. Now it just remains to be seen if Cerrone can become the first man to defeat “The Eagle”.
That fight will headline UFC 187, which will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.