With just one loss since moving up to welterweight, Rafael dos Anjos remains in the mix at 170 pounds, and he isn’t exactly thrilled at how Darren Till jumped to the front of the contenders’ line.
During an appearance on UFC Tonight on Wednesday, the former lightweight champion was asked how he felt about Till challenging Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title on Saturday at UFC 228, despite Till missing weight in his last fight against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Dos Anjos made it clear that Till’s weight struggles should have excluded him from the title picture and that they could prove to be the Englishman’s undoing in the end.
“I don’t agree with that, but he got his chance,” Dos Anjos said. “Here’s what I think, if Till does not make weight and the fight happens, I think he’ll have a little advantage over Tyron. But I think that weight cut will be brutal on him, he’s a big boy. I met him, he’s a big guy and if he makes weight I give the fight for Tyron. If he does make 170, I think Tyron has a better chance, a lot more experience.”
Till does boast an undefeated record in 18 pro fights, while dos Anjos is coming off an interim championship bout loss to Colby Covington at UFC 225 in June. That setback proved costly not only to dos Anjos’s title hopes, but his health as he suffered a gruesome ear injury during that bout.
Dos Anjos has had the ear taken care of and said he hopes to return to competition in November.
As for how he expects the UFC 228 main event to go down, dos Anjos is pointing towards Woodley’s mental advantages as a reason to bet on the champ come fight night.
“It’s an MMA fight. Tyron is an intelligent fighter, he’s going to find out everything he needs to do when the fight starts,” Dos Anjos said. “I think there could be a way, Darren Till if you strike with him, you’re going to put him in his comfort zone, but I think Tyron has a lot more main events, five-round fights, and I think that’s going to count to his advantage.”
Given dos Anjos’s veteran status and success in two of the UFC’s deepest weight divisions, his expertise was called upon for another upcoming main event: the UFC 229 lightweight title clash between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the returning Conor McGregor. The 33-year-old Brazilian has a history with both men, having lost a unanimous decision to Nurmagomedov back in April 2014 and been booked to fight McGregor in a champion vs. champion match when he and “The Notorious” reigned over the lightweight and featherweight divisions, respectively.
A foot injury prevented dos Anjos and McGregor from sharing the Octagon, but his experience with Nurmagomedov provided him with enough data that he likes the undefeated Russian’s chances. Whether it ends quickly or goes the distance, dos Anjos is picking Nurmagomedov.
“Looking at the five-round fight, I think if Khabib put him down in the first round, I think he could get a finish,” Dos Anjos said. “He’s gonna pound on him and he’s got good control, he’s going to lay on him, on top of him, and it’s gonna be a long night for Conor.”
Dad. For Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, the fight with McGregor is personal.
Weight. Darren Till doesn’t want to hear it after UFC 228.
Plans. As long as there are big fights, coach Owen Roddy sees McGregor sticking around.
TUF. The first women’s featherweight fight in Ultimate Fighter history just aired.
UFC 228 open workouts and scrums.
Tyron Woodley breakdown.
Bushido Talk. What’s going on with Sage Northcutt, JacksonWink-Donald Cerrone, and Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones part ???
Heavy Hands. The Pessimistic Preview of UFC 228
Now that is art.
Spinning and winning.
Hands of Pillow. Still scary.
2-on-1? Is that all?
Chael Sonnen, the poet.
Completely candid shot.
You knew these were coming.
Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson Jr. (3-1) vs. Corey Browning (3-2); Bellator 207, Oct. 12.
Claudia Gadelha (16-3) vs. Nina Ansaroff (9-5); UFC 231, Dec. 8
Edson Barboza (19-6) vs. Dan Hooker (17-8); UFC on FOX 31, Dec. 15.
2008: Rashad Evans picked up the biggest win of his career, knocking out Chuck Liddell in dramatic fashion to close out UFC 88 in Atlanta. The victory made Evans the No. 1 contender for the UFC light heavyweight championship and he would defeat Forrest Griffin three months later to capture the gold.
2014: In what would be her first and last successful defense of the Invicta FC atomweight championship, Michelle Waterson defeated Yasuko Tamada via third-round TKO in the main event of Invicta FC 10. She lost the belt in her next fight against Herica Tiburcio before being called up to join the UFC’s strawweight division.
This is Alexander K. Lee taking over The Morning Report for the next few days until Jed Meshew comes back. If there are any questions or complaints, you should still direct them to Jed because ain’t nobody got time for that.
Let’s all send positive vibes to Darren Till and his kidneys, so that he might make championship weight without issue on Friday, and we can have ourselves a proper 170-pound title fight at UFC 228.
Unless you enjoy chaos, then feel free to stir your voodoo cauldron and cackle in glee while the rest of us deal with the fallout.
Who is in greater danger of losing their title?
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