Rafael dos Anjos has set his sights on a showdown with Conor McGregor following his successful return to the lightweight division.
The Brazilian snapped a two-fight losing streak last Sunday with a split-decision victory over Paul Felder in the main event of UFC Fight Night 183 in Las Vegas.
Dos Anjos' first win at 155lbs in nearly five years has put him in the conversation for a title shot.
And the former lightweight king – who has spent the last three years competing at welterweight – reckons a win over 'The Notorious' will be his ticket to a second crack at UFC gold.
"If Khabib [Nurmagomedov] is really retired, it will leave the division wide open," dos Anjos said. "If you look at the contenders, I think that only me and Conor.
"We are the only real champions on that division. Everybody else is interim champions. So I think if the division is open, me and Conor is the fight to make.”
Dos Anjos, 36, was supposed to face McGregor four-and-half years ago at UFC 196 but was forced to withdraw from their champion-vs-champion bout with a foot injury.
'RDA' reckons now is the time to re-book his clash with the promotion's first simultaneous two-division titleholder, adding: "The only two champs in the division are me and Conor.
"We were scheduled to fight twice. And with the champion leaving the division, why not?"
McGregor, 32, is slated to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon in January against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 in Abi Dhabi.
But the Irishman already has one eye on settling the score with dos Anjos, saying: "Dustin first, but I’m down for it all."
Should a mega-money fight with the UFC's poster boy fail to come to fruition, dos Anjos is more than happy to face one of the other top-five-ranked 155-pounders next.
"I moved up to become a champion again," he said. "Everything I do in life, I try to be the best at it. When I moved up to welterweight, I had a got shot.
"I won three fights in a row, I beat the former champion and I fought for the title. I didn't win, but now I'm back to lightweight I want to fight for the belt.
"The belt is my goal. Whoever leads me to the belt, I'll fight."
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