Rafael dos Anjos on Islam Makhachev: ‘I don’t think he can beat Leon Edwards and become a double champion’

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Rafael dos Anjos doesn’t like Islam Makhachev’s chances of becoming a UFC double champion.

Makhachev (27-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), who defended his lightweight title three times, has reiterated his interest in moving up to welterweight to challenge Leon Edwards.

Dos Anjos (32-16 MMA, 21-14 UFC), who has competed at both lightweight and welterweight throughout his career, thinks Makhachev would struggle with the size at a weight class above.

“He’s in a very good momentum right now, but I don’t think he can beat Leon Edwards and become a double champion,” dos Anjos told Submission Radio. “I just think like, the size difference. Leon is a much bigger guy, and we see smaller guys like (Dustin) Poirier giving Islam a lot of trouble.

“Poirier, he’s very tough, but he usually fights at 145, and he gave Islam a hard fight. Islam choked him in the fifth, I think. Poirier, you can see he’s a great fighter. I got a lot of respect for him. But if you see all his title defenses, like he got submitted, and I think he’s very weak on that point or like, his submission defense are not on point. Like, he always falls short on that aspect.”

Former lightweight champion dos Anjos plans on returning to 170 pounds after bouncing around weight classes in his past six fights. He has two particular names in mind for his next fight.

“I see Stephen Thompson, he doesn’t have a fight coming up,” dos Anjos said. “Kevin Holland doesn’t have a fight coming up. And those are good names, you know, like that make sense for me.”

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