Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has an interesting theory as to why his next fight moved locations.
The promotion has already announced that RDA would take on Colby Covington for the interim welterweight title at the upcoming UFC 225 pay-per-view event.
If you recall, the original plan was for them to fight at the UFC 224 pay-per-view event Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
RDA recently told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he believes the fight was moved thanks in large part of the actions of Conor McGregor on the Thursday before the UFC 223 event where he thought it was a good idea to attack a bus full of fighters trying to get to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I flew to New York to have that fight announced in Rio, but I think it was [switched] because of that Conor thing,” dos Anjos said Monday on The MMA Hour. “Like, after that incident with the bus and all of that, I think the UFC was kinda afraid. Colby’s been talking a lot of crap about Brazilians and if something happened there — if the security couldn’t hold one guy, how can they hold a Brazilian crowd [going] crazy because of the stuff that this guy’s been saying?”
“I have to say yes, [I was disappointed] a little bit, especially because of the whole story of the thing,” dos Anjos said. “Like, he went there, he went to Brazil, went to Sao Paulo, he beat Demian Maia there, and after he’s talking a lot of crap about the Brazilians. So to have this fight in Rio would be a good story, especially getting the belt there, it would be really cool. But, I think, the one thing, Rio, it’s not Sao Paulo. The crowds in Sao Paulo, it’s different than the crowds in Rio. Rio people are more savage.
“But I think I’m still going to have the crowd on my side,” dos Anjos added. “It’ll be a good opportunity. I think everything happens for a reason, but I think the location — it’s not going to change the result of the fight. It’ll be even better to beat this guy in his own country, having the American crowd on my side.”
UFC 225 pay-per-view event slated to go down on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
The main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET while the preliminary card will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.