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Rafael dos Anjos will get the next lightweight title shot versus Anthony Pettis
Ultimate Fighting Championship

Rafael dos Anjos will get the next lightweight title shot versus Anthony Pettis

Published Dec. 14, 2014 2:28 a.m. ET

Rafael dos Anjos made a very strong statement to the rest of the lightweight division on Saturday night as he put on a masterful performance to beat up and dominate Nate Diaz for three consecutive round on his way to lopsided decision win.

Following the fight, dos Anjos wasted no time asking the UFC for a title shot.  Dos Anjos has gone 8-1 over his past nine fights including wins over top 15 fighters Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Diaz and former lightweight champion Benson Henderson.

The only problem is the one loss on his record comes to undefeated Russian prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov. As it turns out, however, a knee injury that's kept Nurmagomedov on the sideline for the past few months will also cost him a shot at the title.

UFC president Dana White told FOX Sports on Saturday following UFC Fight Night on FOX that dos Anjos would get the next crack at lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in early 2015 because Nurmagomedov is still injured and not ready to go quite yet.


"I was if Khabib was healthy right now, probably Khabib but he's not.  So it's dos Anjos," White said when addressing the next lightweight title shot.

Dos Anjos' team immediately celebrated in the room when hearing the news and the Brazilian was overjoyed to hear White give him the shot he's been begging to receive for the past couple of years.

On paper, dos Anjos has racked up an incredibly impressive resume in his last nine fights so receiving the title shot isn't all that shocking outside of Nurmagomedov getting passed over because of his injury.

"That's the best news that I've had. I'm so happy," dos Anjos said. "I think my hard work's been paying off.  I fought four times in eight months and I just need to take some time off with my family and get back on track. I want to get this belt."

Part of the reason dos Anjos will get the shot comes down to timing.

Pettis texted White after the fights and said that he wanted to get back into the Octagon as soon as possible and face either dos Anjos or Nurmagomedov, whoever was ready first.

As it turns out, dos Anjos will get the shot.

The timing of the fight doesn't matter much to the Brazilian lightweight.  While he's anxiously awaiting a little bit of time off for the holidays after a very busy 2014 campaign, dos Anjos won't hesitate for a second when the UFC comes calling with his official title shot offer.

"For the title, I'll fight next week," dos Anjos said. "That's what I want. I'm ready to go."


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