If Rafael Dos Anjos Never Got Injured?
Oh, how the UFC world would be so different. We all know the story by now.
Rafael dos Anjos got injured in the build-up to his UFC 196 lightweight title defence against the Featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Leaving the challenger in search of a new opponent. This turned out to be golden ticket winner Nate Diaz, who choked McGregor out.
Despite the fact that McGregor vs Diaz was an exciting prospect, and the shenanigans the two entertained us within the build-up was entertaining. What the stream of events has now left us with is a circus of public fallouts. Negotiations, claims and counterclaims, retirements, comebacks, and apparently some much-appreciated cheese.
The first bizarre twist of it all actually happened before the fight, with the announcement that it would take place at a 170lb weight limit. The rippling effect from that, of course, is that now Conor wants his rematch at 170. So he can properly avenge his defeat, not that it matters really.
So we have gone from preparing to see Conor McGregor compete in his most suited weight division. And for the title too, to being as far away as ever to see him competing there.
Chances are McGregor will fight Diaz again at 170, and probably have a better chance of winning given what he should have learned from the previous battle. And then I’m going to go out on a whim and assume Frankie Edger will give him something to think about and take care of José Aldo. Which I’m guessing he also should have a better chance of doing the second time around.
So, everything is a bit up in the air right now, to say the least. Whatever sort of negotiations game the trio of parties is playing at the moment has become boring to the extent of annoyance, to say the least.
Conor McGregor Vs Floyd Mayweather In Boxing?
Probably the most annoying thing to come out of it all is the notion that Conor McGregor will fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match and people actually buying into it. Have we all descended into gullible clueless beasts?
I love McGregor, and when fighting in the correct weight divisions I think he is one of the best pound for pound mixed martial artists in the world. However, I also have an opinion on what would happen in a boxing match with himself and Floyd Mayweather. Think of a one-round version of Hatton vs Mayweather.
This whole malarkey has led me to think, what if Rafael dos Anjos had never gotten injured. Regardless of the result between himself and McGregor. I’d doubt there would be any talk of a Floyd Mayweather boxing match.
Let’s say dos Anjos give Conor a bit of a grappling lesson and dominated the Irish man on the ground to win a comfortable decision. There would be no shame in that, and I think Conor could come away with his head held high, admitting it just wasn’t his day. In that scenario, I would imagine The Notorious return to Featherweight to defend his belt. With his eyes on another shot at Lightweight gold in 2017.
What If McGregor Had Won?
But what if McGregor won. We all know he’s a genius at getting inside his opponent’s heads before a fight, probably the best in the business in fact. Could McGregor’s mind games have forced dos Anjos into abandoning his grappling game and striking it out. And end up eating one of the famous left hands as many have before him. Ultimately leading to a history-making victory for the proud Dubliner.
Can you imagine the gloating and the claims of invincibility from the first-ever two-weight UFC world champion. Highly amusing and entertaining for his large following, but equally as irritating for those not so fond of his notorious antics.
This is all just a bit of fun, of course, to contemplate what might have happened had Rafael dos Anjos not got injured. Nobody really knows, and as we have learned many times over the years. Anything can happen when that octagon door closes.
But one thing that I would say with a fair degree of certainty is that had McGregor and dos Anjos got it on that night of March 5. Regardless of the outcome, Conor McGregor would be looking forward to big fights next year in the division where he belongs.
Fights like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Edson Barboza, the list goes on. Not senseless, meaningless, fabricated freak show events like a boxing match with one of the best boxers the world has ever seen.
By Neál Martin
Follow on Twitter: @NealKnows