Rafael dos Anjos explains why Islam Makhachev can’t be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC

By Cole Shelton - June 13, 2024

Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos doesn’t think Islam Makhachev should be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.

Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev

Makhachev is the current UFC lightweight champion and after he submitted Dustin Poirier, fans called for the 155lbs champ to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. However, UFC CEO Dana White shot that down as he believes Jon Jones should still be atop those rankings.

Not only does White think Makhachev isn’t the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, but so too does Rafael dos Anjos:

“I don’t know who made those rankings, but a guy like Jon Jones, he’s a double-division champion,” dos Anjos told Sherdog (via MMAJunkie).  “He’s undefeated. I agree with Dana White 100 percent: If Jon Jones is around, he’s going to be the pound-for-pound, for sure – No. 1. He’s the best guy in the world in his division, and pound-for-pound as well. I don’t believe Islam Makhachev, with two title defenses against a featherweight and one title defense against a real lightweight, can be pound-for-pound No. 1.”

It is an interesting comment from Rafael dos Anjos as he doesn’t put much weight on Islam Makhachev’s win over Alexander Volkanovski. Although Volkanovski was the featherweight champ, dos Anjos doesn’t think beating someone down a weight class should improve your status as a top pound-for-pound fighter.

Currently, the UFC rankings has Islam Makhachev as the top pound-for-pound fighter despite dos Anjos and White disagreeing with it. Makhachev is 26-1 as a pro and coming off the submission win over Poirier. He also holds notable wins over Charles Oliveira, Alex Volkanovski, Dan Hooker, and Arman Tsarukyan.

As for Rafael dos Anjos, he’s coming off a decision loss to Mateusz Gamrot back in March at UFC 299. Before that, he suffered a decision loss to Vicente Luque. The Brazilian’s last win was in December of 2022 when he submitted Bryan Barberena.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Islam Makhachev Rafael dos Anjos UFC