This may explain why Dana White is Khabib Nurmagomedov’s ghost.
Now that Charles Oliveira is without his lightweight title, thanks to some large-scale shenanigans ahead of UFC 274 earlier this month in Phoenix, the promotion will have to scare away a viable contender to fight ‘Do Bronx’ for the vacant strap later. This year.
The two names at the top of the list are Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush, ranked No. 3 and No. 6 respectively. But who will prove to be the most deserving candidate? They may have to struggle to figure this out.
That’s according to former champion Rafael dos Anjos.
“The division is crazy right now,” said dos Anjos mma fight. “It was crazy before, but now it’s even crazier. I believe that if everything goes according to what Dana [White] said, Islam will fight Beneil [Dariush] in October in Abu Dhabi. Since Islam is playing all these games against me he didn’t take the fight, now Dana will punish him and keep him to fight Beneil and won’t let him fight for the belt. If that happens, I heard that the UFC is going to do a big show in Brazil in December, and why not Brazil against Brazil? Once I get past Fiziev, me versus Charles would be a great fight.
Dos Anjos is currently ranked one spot behind Dariush at No.7.
The Brazilian reached a verbal agreement to fight Makhachev at UFC 272 when Rafael Fiziev was taken down by COVID and removed from the card; however, the deal fell apart when the Dagestan bruiser backed off at the eleventh hour, irritating White in the process.
This decision comes back to haunt him.
Dos Anjos was rebooked to fight Fiziev in July but we don’t yet know what will happen with Makhachev or Dariush. We also have to deal with the return of former champion Conor McGregor, who can use his power of attraction to jump the line and challenge for the title.