UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley successfully defended the gold against Demian Maia at UFC 214.
Matchmaker Sean Shelby recently revealed that if Maia had turned down the title shot, then former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos would have been given the opportunity.
“What’s interesting about this, is that we obviously had a fight with Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia,” Shelby said on The Watch List. “Dana made it public that Tyron is fighting on this card. Maia wasn’t initially sure if he was going to do it, and the guy waiting there for that fight was RDA. He had already accepted the fight against Tyron, had Maia not been able to do it.”
Dos Anjos had only fought at welterweight once before UFC 214, which was a decision win over former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Tarec Saffiedine at UFC Fight Night Singapore.
Shelby also admits that Dos Anjos contacts him regularly about wanting to fight in the Octagon.
“So he’s been ready to go. He’s been chomping at the bit, and he wants to fight every week. I said, ‘hey, it didn’t work out, but I’ll try to get you back in something fun as soon as possible,’” says Shelby.
Despite not fighting at UFC 215, the former lightweight champion is set to fight Neil Magny at UFC 215.