UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has insisted that he was not bothered by missing out on the chance to make a large amount of money when he pulled out of his fight with Conor McGregor.
Dos Anjos was supposed to put his lightweight title on the line against McGregor at UFC 196 in March, but the fight did not happen after Dos Anjos broke his foot.
Instead, Nate Diaz was called up as his replacement and shocked the UFC community when he ended McGregor’s unbeaten run by making him submit in the second round of their bout.
While Dos Anjos has expressed his interest in fighting the Irishman, he made it clear that he is more interested in fighting a worthy opponent rather than the money he stands to make.
“A lot of people talk about that, about money, money, money. Everybody likes money. I like money, but I don’t love money,” Dos Anjos told reporters. “I fight because I like challenges, I like competing. But it’s not [disappointing] just because of the money, just because the fight was against Conor and I would make a big paycheck.
“I got hurt. I couldn’t compete. I spent a lot of time, a lot of money on that camp. And two weeks before the fight I broke my foot and I couldn’t show up. [It was disappointing] just because I didn’t fight, not because of the paycheck.”
With McGregor facing Diaz in a rematch at UFC 202 in August, Dos Anjos will defend his lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90 on July 7 and revealed that he will make light work of his opponent, especially as his foot has fully healed.
“The foot is 100-percent, man,” he said. “I’m kicking. I’m doing everything that I was doing [before the injury]. It was just a broken bone. Now that the bone is healed, I didn’t have any ligaments hurt. Now my bone is 100-percent. I’m kicking stronger than ever. I spent four months in Singapore training muay Thai. I kicked a lot over there. I’m ready to go.
“As you can see from my previous fights, I always show up better. I never cancel fights due to injury, but I had to cancel my last fight against Conor because of my foot. I’m so motivated right now. I can’t wait to fight again. I can’t wait to put on a great show. I don’t want to prove anything. I just want to get a victory. It’s what I’m working for. One thing I can say: it’s going to be beautiful.”