Rafael dos Anjos had a number of options for his next fight, including former welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz.
Dos Anjos will return to action this Saturday at UFC Rochester when he takes on Kevin Lee in a welterweight headliner.
The fight somewhat came out of left field as the Brazilian claimed he was presented with a number of options beforehand. Diaz was surprisingly among them as he expressed an interest in facing the former lightweight champion.
In the end, though, things didn’t work out and Dos Anjos decided to face Lee, who like him, is also moving up from 155 pounds.
“We talked about some other options,” Dos Anjos said during open workouts (via MMA Junkie). “(Santiago) Ponzinibbio, (Jorge) Masvidal and even (UFC matchmaker) Sean (Shelby) called me to say, ‘Hey, Nick Diaz might be interested in a fight with you.’
“Things did not work out and the only name they throw for me was Kevin. He’s a top contender at lightweight coming up a division and I can’t sit on my sofa waiting for the perfect fight. I’ve got to work.”
“RDA” is looking to snap a two-fight losing streak following losses to Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman last year.
While he would have loved to face Diaz, the latter hasn’t fought since January 2015, and Dos Anjos was not going to be waiting around.
“Fighters got to be active,” he explained. “I don’t have any injury, nothing to hold me back. I want to be active. I want to fight.
“I know he’s [Lee] a tough guy and good wrestler and good jiu-jitsu and very good, well-rounded fighter, but I don’t think he’s going to have the size advantage on this fight. It’ll be fun. It’ll be a good fight.”
While a return for Nick seems unlikely, his brother Nate is at least seemingly returning.
The younger Diaz was recently booked to face Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of UFC 241. The only question now, is if it will still happen.