Rafael dos Anjos made the first successful defense of his Lightweight title this past weekend when he took on number one contender and eight fight winning streak Donald Cerrone whose last loss was against the current champion by decision. RDA made short work of “Cowboy” in a little over a minute to retain his title. This was a big win for the current champion who did not have many fans rooting for him but such an emphatic win over fan favorite has to do wonders for his career.
Een just a few days removed from his title defense, it looks like the Brazilian Champion might be returning to his home country to defend his title next and it will come against the last person to beat him. Yes, RDA is currently riding a 10-1 record in his last 11 fights and the only man to beat him in that span is Khabib Nurmagomedov. The two 155’ers first faced off at in April of 2014, where Khabib took a decision and RDA went on to win five straight which included capturing the title, beating two world champions and finishing three of those fights. Still, the loss to Khabib looms large.
This fight may take place at UFC 197 which is rumored to also have the rematch between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort on the card. One has to wonder why Khabib was given the title shot, because at this point if the timetable proves to be right it means Khabib will have been out two years and come back to fight for the title after injuries. These are injuries that nearly had him contemplating retirement. Plus, if you look back at Khabib’s six fight win streak he may not be the most deserving fighter for a title shot not even factoring in the ring rust.
Discounting the win over RDA, he has five other wins in the Octagon. Two of those fighters have been released from the promotion both o whom were winless in the Octagon. One sits at batting .500 with a record of 3-3, one dropped to 145 as well as tested positive for performance enhancers in their fight, and the other was just suspended for steroids as well. His biggest draw is he is undefeated, but he honestly needs a fight to warm him up toward returning to face someone as high level as RDA at this point.
The less appealing but more logical fight is Tony Ferguson. He is 10-1 in his last 11 fights just like the champion, and his one loss was seven fights ago. In his last seven fights, he beat two of the same fighters as Khabib, two fighters who are not in the UFC anymore but atlas had a few wins, Danny Castillo who was 3-1 in his last four not 0-4 like he is now, former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, and top five lightweight Edson Barboza. Let’s not mention that he finished five of those fights as well compared to Khabib who has finished 2 out of his six. Plus, he is durable having had three fights int he past two years each. It is just a rumor but lets hope for an Xmas miracle and hope it turns out to be false.