With Khabib Nurmagomedov expected to be sidelined until later in 2015, Rafael dos Anjos just might get his long-awaited opportunity after all.
UFC president Dana White stated on the UFC on FOX 13 post-fight show on FOX Sports 1 that dos Anjos’ win over Nate Diaz has placed him in a position to challenge Anthony Pettis for the lightweight title.
“Anthony talked to me (Saturday) and said he’s ready for whatever,” White said. “As long as dos Anjos comes out of this healthy, he’s next. Anthony is ready now.”
Dos Anjos (23-7) closed out the year with three straight wins after a decision loss in April to Nurmagomedov. He is 8-1 in his last nine overall.
Pettis (18-2) returned from his own injury to defeat Gilbert Melendez earlier this month. He had been on the sidelines since late in 2013 due to the injury and filming of The Ultimate Fighter.
Nurmagomedov (22-0), who suffered a knee injury a few months ago that knocked him out of action until the spring, stated on Twitter his dissatisfaction with news of dos Anjos moving ahead of him.
“Now Pettis is in hurry to fight,” he wrote. “I feel like everybody is protecting him from me. I ready April or May.”