Rafael dos Anjos: Islam Makhachev can’t be No. 1 pound-for-pound with two title defenses over a featherweight

Rafael dos Anjos doesn’t think Islam Makhachev’s resume warrants the No. 1 spot in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings.

UFC lightweight champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) tied the division’s record of three title defenses when he submitted Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 earlier this month. His other two title defenses came over former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

UFC CEO Dana White argued that former UFC light heavyweight champion and current heavyweight champ Jon Jones (27-1 MMA, 21-1 UFC) should be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, and dos Anjos agrees. Jones returned from an over three-year long layoff at UFC 285 to submit Ciryl Gane and claim the vacant heavyweight title.

“I don’t know who made those rankings, but a guy like Jon Jones, he’s a double-division champion,” dos Anjos told Sherdog. “He’s undefeated. I agree with Dana White 100 percent: If Jon Jones is around, he’s going to be the pound-for-pound, for sure – No. 1.

“He’s the best guy in the world in his division, and pound-for-pound as well. I don’t believe Islam Makhachev, with two title defenses against a featherweight and one title defense against a real lightweight, can be pound-for-pound No. 1.”

Former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos (32-16 MMA, 21-14 UFC), who lost to Makhachev’s mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2014, will ride out the rest of his career at welterweight – where he challenged for the interim title before in 2018.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie