UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos will likely have a rematch for his first title defense, as the winner of Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to meet him.
Those two collide in May at UFC 187, and dos Anjos will be an interested party.
Back in 2013, dos Anjos (24-7) scored a decision victory over Cerrone, moving into a top-contender bout with Nurmagomedov in 2014. He suffered a decision loss to the unbeaten Nurmagomedov, but won three straight and leapfrogged him for a title fight vs. Anthony Pettis this past March.
Dos Anjos dominated Pettis, walking away with the title.
“I think it is a 50-50 fight,” said dos Anjos, on a recent appearance with Submission Radio. “I’m gonna tell the truth, I fought them both. So I lost to Khabib, but I beat Cerrone.
Cerrone is a tough fighter. Man, I don’t know how Khabib is going to deal with (Cerrone). He’s just coming back from that knee injury. He’s (been) out like almost a year and maybe this can make a difference. But Cerrone, he’s been active and for sure it’s going to make a lot of difference for him. But I think it’s a 50-50 fight. It can go either way.”
While he has no issues facing Cerrone again, dos Anjos did admit there is a part of him that wants Nurmagomedov and the chance to avenge his most recent setback.
“For sure, I don’t want to make excuses but I had a couple of issues before the Khabib fight,” he said. “No excuses, he did a great job, the perfect strategy.
“I’m a complete fighter now. I have extra confidence.”