Rafael dos Anjos calls out Conor McGregor: ‘Give him a real contender’

Rafael dos Anjos, Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor is planning to fight again on January 18, and with the opponent for his comeback still not confirmed, many fighters are doing what they can to earn this lucrative opportunity. Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is one of the latest to do so.

Dos Anjos made his call for a fight with McGregor on Instagram, imploring UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby to give the Irishman a “real contender” in his return to the Octagon.

“Don’t give this guy a tune up fight, give him real contender at 170 , 165 or 155. I’m in all the way @danawhite @seanshelby.” – Rafael dos Anjos on Instagram

Unfortunately for dos Anjos, all signs point to McGregor fighting the fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in his return to the cage. The Irishman’s team, UFC President Dana White, and Cerrone himself have all expressed interest in the matchup, and the ball seems to be rolling in that direction.

That being said, there is plenty of reason to book a fight between dos Anjos and McGregor. The pair were briefly scheduled to meet in early 2016. McGregor, then the featherweight champion, was expected to climb up to lightweight and challenge dos Anjos for his lightweight title. Regrettably, a dos Anjos injury nixed this planned matchup. McGregor was then matched up with Nate Diaz on short notice, and wound up losing by second-round submission, kickstarting one of MMA’s most famous rivalries.

Rafael dos Anjos has spent the last few years competing in the welterweight division, and even battled Colby Covington for the interim title in June of 2018. In his last fight, he lost a decision to Leon Edwards. This loss was preceded by a submission defeat of Kevin Lee.

McGregor, meanwhile, has not fought since coming up short to Khabib Nurmagomedov in late 2018.

Does a fight between Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos interest you?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/11/2019.