Henry Cejudo has revealed who he’d like to see Islam Makhachev fight next instead of Beneil Dariush. ‘Triple C’ has asserted that the UFC ought to rebook the much-discussed fight between Makhachev and former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos next.
Makhachev was scheduled to fight Dariush at UFC Fight Night 202 in a lightweight (155-pound) bout that many believed would determine the next No.1 contender for the UFC lightweight title. However, a foot injury forced Dariush out of the fight.
Dariush was replaced by Bobby Green, who agreed to fight Islam Makhachev on 10 days’ notice at a catchweight of 160 pounds. The fight witnessed Makhachev dominantly defeat Green via first-round TKO.
Presently, the consensus is that the UFC is likely to reschedule the Makhachev-Dariush matchup. On an edition of The Triple C & Schmo Show, Henry Cejudo offered an alternative opponent for the Dagestani phenom. Alluding to the long-running rivalry between Makhachev and RDA, Cejudo stated:
“I think that [Makhachev vs. Dos Anjos] is the fight that probably [UFC president] Dana [White] should do more so than Beneil Dariush.” Cejudo continued, “I think those two guys have been in a handful of verbal confrontations through social media. I’d prefer to see Rafael dos Anjos and Islam honestly. I think that’s a better fight, in my eyes, than Dariush. I think it’s a true feud, and you need those. He needs those storylines. It’s almost like how Khabib [Nurmagomedov] needed [Conor] McGregor, you know what I’m saying? It’s like, you’ve gotta build that star.”
Watch Henry Cejudo’s conversation with The Schmo in the video below:
The Rafael dos Anjos vs. Islam Makhachev feud
Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev have been involved in a war of words against one another over the past few years. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 254 in October 2020, a UFC Fight Night event in November 2020, and at UFC 267 in October 2021. Unfortunately, injuries, COVID-19, and other health-related issues led to their fight falling apart every time.
Most recently, 'RDA' was set to face Rafael Fiziev at UFC 272 on March 5th. Nevertheless, Fiziev contracted COVID-19 and was replaced by Renato Moicano on just four days’ notice. Dos Anjos ended up beating Moicano via unanimous decision.
Intriguingly, the fight took place a week after Makhachev beat Green. Additionally, the Dagestani had offered to replace Fiziev and fight 'RDA' on short notice. Dos Anjos accepted the fight, but was then booked to face Moicano instead.
UFC boss Dana White later claimed that while Makhachev said he’d face 'RDA' at UFC 272, he later bowed out of the fight – a claim that Makhachev has refuted.