Sorry, Ben Henderson, but Rafael dos Anjos isn't taking the bait to fight you, because the red-hot Brazilian prefers to face a "contender" in the lightweight division who has been winning fights, just like him.
Henderson recently took the opportunity to ask for a bout against Dos Anjos, stating that a victory over a man who owns a five-fight win streak gets him closer to a chance at reclaiming his 155-pound title, which he lost to Anthony Pettis at UFC 164 back in August.
But, as Rafael recently told James Goyder right here at MMAmania.com, he isn't interested in putting up his win streak against a man who is coming off a loss. No sir, he wants to face a contender who has been wrecking shop and T.J. Grant -- a man who also lays claim to a five-fight win streak -- fits the bill perfectly.
Dos Anjos explains:
"I don't pick my opponents and I have never turned down a fight, I will fight anyone the UFC asks me to but my goal now is to fight for the title and I have won five fights in a row against tough opponents and I think I am ready for a title shot now. If the UFC wants me to fight one more opponent first than I prefer to face another contender like TJ Grant who has also been winning many fights and not Ben Henderson because he lost his last fight but becoming the first Brazilian lightweight champion is my dream, if I need to beat Ben Henderson to get my title shot I am ready to do that. I am hoping that the UFC will allow me to fight in Singapore because Evolve MMA is my team and I train there many times and have many friends in Singapore and a lot of people there will buy tickets and come to support me. If TJ Grant is fit by January I think that would be a very good fight for the fans in Singapore."
While Rafael makes a valid point, accepting a fight against "Smooth" wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. After all, Henderson is the former UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight champ and his loss to "Showtime" was his first in three years.
But, that was then and this is now and Rafael only cares to take on a man who is presently steamrolling the competition, not a man who tapped in the very first round during his last fight.
Indeed, UFC is expected to touchdown in Singapore for the very first time on Jan. 4, 2014 as the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has an event scheduled to go down at Marina Bay Sands.
And if Dos Anjos gets his way, he'll be facing Grant in a potential No. 1 contender's fight, not Ben Henderson.