A Confused Rafael Dos Anjos Accepted Fight With Wrong Russian
Lightweight contender Rafael Dos Anjos knew he was fighting a Russian at UFC 170, but he may have gotten them mixed up. In a recent interview with Globo, Dos Anjos thought he was set to fight rising Russian contender Khabib Nurmagomedov in February. Instead, he’s actually fighting prospect Rustam Khabilov, much to his chagrin.
The confusion, according to Dos Anjos, stems from the communication he had with his manager, Ed Soares, who simply told him “they’re giving you the Russian.” Dos Anjos understandably mistook him for meaning Nurmagomedov, who is just below him in the official UFC rankings. Khabilov, on the other hand, while off to an impressive 3-0 start to his UFC career, has yet to break into the top 10. In the interview, Dos Anjos made it clear that while he respects Rustam, he wanted a higher ranking opponent, due to his recent 5-0 run.
Khabilov (17-1, 3-0 UFC) , fought most recently at UFC: Fight for the Troops 3, where he scored “fight of the night” honors for his unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. Meanwhile, Dos Anjos (20-6, 9-4 UFC), has rattled off 5 straight wins, including in his most recent fight, where he scored an impressive unanimous decision win over Donald Cerone at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2.