Rafael Dos Anjos is almost ready to step back into the Octagon.
The former UFC Champion hasn’t stayed as active as he wanted to in 2021. Multiple surgeries would sideline RDA this year. He would eventually recover from his injuries to find himself in a back-up slot for the biggest fight of the year being Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3.
The opportunity wouldn’t present itself this time around, as both Poirier and McGregor made it to fight night intact. Dos Anjos’s services would not be needed. He also was supposed to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 267, but injuries would get him again.
RDA Wanted To Fight At UFC 262
Appearing on The MMA Hour, RDA would reveal an opponent he almost ended up fighting this year. It would be no other than a familiar face to the former UFC Champion… Tony Ferguson.
Right after losing his UFC title to Eddie Alvarez, RDA would look to bounce back against Ferguson in late 2016. ‘El Cucuy’ at sea-level in Mexico City would prove to be too much for the Brazilian. Ferguson would extend his legendary winning streak and won the decision in the distance.
5 years after the initial meeting, it looks like Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson 2 was on the table. However, it never came to be as Dos Anjos wasn’t at 100% yet, due to injuries sustained.
“It was in May, then Beneil (Dariush) took the fight.” RDA told Ariel Helwani. “Benny Dariush took the fight. That fight was supposed to be me, but I couldn’t get better. And then I say, ‘hey, I’m gonna pass the ball’.
The UFC did end up passing the ball to the streaking Dariush. For Benny, his one-on-one with Tony Ferguson would end up being a unanimous decision, in favor of him. Dariush moved to the title picture with a #3 ranked spot next to his name.
Now that he is off the sidelines, Dos Anjos believes it’s time to run it back with Ferguson.
“[Tony Ferguson] would be a good rematch.” Dos Anjos said. “I fought Tony on the wrong time. I should not have taken that fight [in 2016]. I would love to run that match again.”
Better Late Than Ever
While 2016 wasn’t the best time for RDA, now is not exactly the best time for Ferguson either. ‘Tony Time’ ended in 2020, where Ferguson’s 12 fight win streak would come to a close. He lost his last 3 fights against Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush and current UFC Champ Charles Oliveira.
Ferguson does want to get back into the win column, and maybe a guy he’s already beat could be his redemption.
Should the UFC book Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson 2 next?