Reacting to Conor McGregor's shocking submission loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, Rafael dos Anjos has claimed today the Irishman "got what he deserved."
Dos Anjos was slated to be McGregor's original opponent for this past weekend's event but had to pull out of the fight at short notice after breaking his foot in training.
War of words
Both in the lead up to his bout against Diaz, and following his dramatic defeat, McGregor has criticised dos Anjos for pulling out of the fight. Now, it seems, the Brazilian is getting his revenge.
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"Honestly, to tell you the truth, I thought [McGregor] would win," dos Anjos told The MMA Hour in what at first glance looked like a compliment for his rival. It wasn't:
"He did his best because he had a lot of guys offer to fight him; Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, guys in shape, guys in fight camps. So he picked Nate Diaz, who wasn't training for sure.
"Like [Diaz] said, he didn't spar once for this fight. And he submitted him. So [McGregor] picked the easiest one on his mind, that's why I thought he was going to win."
Despite dos Anjos' attempts on social media to prove his injury is legitimate, he has incurred the wrath of McGregor and a lot of UFC fans for backing out of UFC 196, with the Irish star recently labelling him a "pu**y".
In the Lightweight Champion's mind, however, it is McGregor who is the pussycat:
"Nate Diaz is a tough opponent. I've fought him. He's a really hard guy to finish, has a lot of heart, but he's different than Conor.
"Conor did not show a lot of heart. He's a lion when he's punching somebody, but when he's getting punched, he becomes a cat."
McGregor has developed a reputation as a relentless fighter in his previously unblemished UFC career. However, in submitting to Diaz in the second round, it is clear he has left himself open to new criticism.
Making things right
An opportunity dos Anjos was going to take, even if he insists he didn't take any pleasure in seeing McGregor lose:
"I think it's a loser's mentality to get happy with somebody losing...But I think everybody got what they deserve. Conor got what he deserved, and God makes everything perfect.
"Conor, he claimed to be God, and God made everything perfect. God showed him, the world, who he really is."
McGregor's defeat has allowed his rivals a chance to vent their frustration in his direction. Whether dos Anjos ever gets the opportunity to back up his words with action inside the Octagon remains to be seen.
There is certainly enough bad blood between the two fighters to make it a must watch.