LAS VEGAS - After over four years away from the division, former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos showed that he remains one of the best fighters between 66kg and 70kg.
The Brazilian beat American Paul Felder via split decision (47-48, 50-45, 50-45) in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday (Nov 14).
Dos Anjos stuck to his game plan and repeatedly scored with his trademark Brazilian jiu-jitsu takedowns and ground control.
The victory reasserted his intention for a second lightweight title run.
"I want to face whoever is on the line for that belt," dos Anjos, the UFC lightweight title in 2015 and 2016, said.
"I know I've got a lot in me still. At 36 years old, tonight was my 30th UFC appearance. I think if (UFC lightweight champion) Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is really retired, it will leave the division wide open.
"If you look at the contenders, only me and Conor (McGregor), we are the only real (former) champions in that division... If the division is open, I think me and Conor is the fight to make."
Dos Anjos (30-13) spent three years at welterweight before this bout. His last lightweight win came against Donald Cerrone in December 2015.
Felder, 35, dropped to 17-6.