Rafael dos Anjos, a lightweight contender in the UFC, is looking for his next opponent, but Dan Hooker’s attempt to put his name in the hat has been thwarted.
Dos Anjos, a former 155-pound champion, made his first appearance in the Octagon since November 2020 at UFC 272. After defeating late-notice replacement Paul Felder in the main event, the Brazilian’s progress was halted due to injury.
Even dos Anjos’ comeback in 2022 ran into some roadblocks. In February, his battle with Rafael Fiziev got rescheduled when “Ataman” caught COVID-19 during UFC 272 fight week. This caused him to withdraw from the rescheduled fight.
Renato Moicano took Fiziev’s place. Despite displaying tremendous tenacity and toughness, his more seasoned compatriot easily defeated the young Brazilian throughout five rounds.
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“RDA” is looking for a swift turnaround now that he’s well and back in the victory column. This past weekend, he took to Twitter to request that some opponent step up to the plate for this summer.
“July/August…anybody,” he wrote.
“Anybody,” it turns out, truly means “everyone except Dan Hooker.”
Hooker isn’t on dos Anjos’ radar for a return this summer
Dan “The Hangman” Hooker’s response, which included ranked lightweights Mateusz Gamrot and Brad Riddell stating their availability for the timeframe, drew the most attention.
Hooker has remained tight-lipped about his future since a failed comeback to featherweight at UFC London last March, adding a fourth loss to his five-fight losing streak. With his simple response to dos Anjos’ open callout, “Smash yo face in,” the New Zealander hints that he’ll go back to 155 pounds next time out.
If that’s the case, it doesn’t look like it’ll be against dos Anjos.
“RDA” wasted no time reacting to Hooker. He pointed out their polar opposite form, which has seen the Brazilian win two consecutive matches while “The Hangman” has lost two straight Fights.
Smash ya face in. 🕺 https://t.co/X4hPmL7jZV
— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) April 24, 2022
I’m coming of 2 win and you 2 losses, gotta be kidding me 🤦🏻♂️
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) April 24, 2022
“I’m coming of 2 win and you 2 losses, gotta be kidding me [facepalm emoji]”
Despite being ranked #6 on the lightweight ladder, dos Anjos could expect to fight down the order next time out, partly due to bouts scheduled above him, but also since his last two victories came against the now-retired Felder and the unranked Moicano on short notice.
With that in mind, he’d be better off accepting a rescheduled fight with Fiziev, who was also among those who expressed interest in providing “RDA” with his desired July fight.