This weekend, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos will look to correct his recent losing streak against a fellow former lightweight in Kevin Lee. The pair will collide in the welterweight main event of UFC Rochester.
Before Rafael dos Anjos was offered this fight with Kevin Lee, there were several other opinions on the menu for him, including Santiago Ponzinibbio, Jorge Masvidal, and most surprisingly, the long absent Nate Diaz.
“We talked about some other options,” dos Anjos told MMA Junkie recently. “(Santiago) Ponzinibbio, (Jorge) Masvidal and even (UFC matchmaker) Sean (Shelby) called me to say, ‘Hey, Nick Diaz might be interested in a fight with you.’ Things did not work out and the only name they throw for me was Kevin. He’s a top contender at lightweight coming up a division and I can’t sit on my sofa waiting for the perfect fight. I’ve got to work.”
Nick Diaz has not fought since a January 2015 no contest against Anderson Silva. Prior to that fight, he gave up decisions to Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit in 2013 and 2012. His last win occurred in 2011, when he defeated BJ Penn. So to hear that he was potentially in discussion to fight Rafael dos Anjos is somewhat surprising.
Dos Anjos is currently on a two-fight skid, having recently been defeated by reigning welterweight champ Kamaru Usman and former interim champ Colby Covington — both by decision. Prior to this skid, he went 3-0 in his first three welterweight bouts, dominating Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny and most notably, the former champ Robbie Lawler.
Would a fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Nick Diaz have interested you? Who do you think would have won? Make your pick for this potential matchup in the comments section down below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/16/2019.