Gaethje’s (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, posted a message on social media Saturday claiming the top lightweights are avoiding a matchup with the former WSOF champ and interim UFC lightweight titleholder.
Dos Anjos (31-13 MMA, 19-11 UFC), a former UFC champ at 155 pounds, is one of the few highly ranked members of the division who is currently without a fight. The Brazilian replied to Abdelaziz, and said he’s ready and willing to accept the matchup if offered.
“Guess who’s the highest ranking available?” dos Anjos wrote on Twitter. “I’m on it. Send me the contract.”
Gaethje, who was the last man to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov before he retired from MMA and vacated the UFC belt, is currently the odd man out at the top of the pecking order.
Charles Oliveira will fight Michael Chandler to crown the new champion at UFC 262 on May 15, while Tony Ferguson meets Beneil Dariush on the same card. Meanwhile, Dustin Poirier is set to rematch Conor McGregor at UFC 264 on July 10.
UFC president Dana White recently said Gaethje “probably next in line” in the division, but also named him as a potential backup fighter for Poirier vs. McGregor.
It remains to be seen if Gaethje, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings, will opt to wait for some of the upcoming fights to play out. But if not, No. 6-ranked dos Anjos, who is coming off a win over Paul Felder, is down to book a fight.