This Saturday night, on the main card of UFC 215, former UFC lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos will take his second fight in the welterweight division opposite dangerous contender Neil Magny. Apparently, however, dos Anjos very nearly found himself in a fight with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley instead.
In a UFC 215 preview video featuring Jon Anik and UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, Shelby explained that a dos Anjos vs. Woodley welterweight title fight was the contingency plan had Demian Maia not been able to accept a title fight with Woodley at UFC 214.
“WHAT’S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS [DOS ANJOS VS. MAGNY] FIGHT IS THAT WE OBVIOUSLY HAD THE FIGHT WITH TYRON WOODLEY AND DEMIAN MAIA, AND THERE WAS SOME QUESTION… TYRON’S TEAM MADE IT PUBLIC THAT TYRON WAS FIGHTING ON THIS CARD, AND MAIA WASN’T INITIALLY SURE HE COULD DO IT. THE GUY WAITING THERE FOR THAT FIGHT WAS RDA. HE HAD ALREADY ACCEPTED THE FIGHT WITH TYRON HAD MAIA NOT BEEN ABLE TO DO IT. SO HE’S BEEN READY TO GO. HE’S CHOMPING AT THE BIT. HE WANTS TO FIGHT EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I SAID ‘HEY THIS [WELTERWEIGHT TITLE SHOT] DIDN’T WORK OUT, BUT I’LL TRY TO GET YOU BACK IN FOR SOMETHING FUN SOON AS POSSIBLE. I’LL KEEP YA ON SPEED DIAL. AND [THEN] YOU’VE GOT MAGNY, WHO JUST SAID ‘HEY, I’M READY TO GO.'”
In the end, of course, Maia agreed to a title fight with Woodley, despite a brief window to prepare. The BJJ whiz would lose this title fight by unanimous decision.
Though nothing is certain just yet, it appears as though dos Anjos could well be the next man in line for the welterweight title shot if he’s able to take out Magny this weekend.
How do you think Rafael dos Anjos would do against Tyron Woodley?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 9/4/2017.