Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos is one UFC lightweight title fight that got away, but could a bout between former 155-pound champions still happen?

One definitely hopes so. The other says he does.

On Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 182, dos Anjos made his return to lightweight after three-plus years competing at welterweight. He had a strong performance, dominating No. 7-ranked Paul Felder for a split decision win that included two scores of 50-45.

After the fight, dos Anjos went big in lobbying for a fight with McGregor, citing how it makes sense right now given the landscape of the division after the recently announced retirement of current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, who may or may not stick to his word.

“Khabib leaving the division, I think it will leave the division wide open,” dos Anjos said during the UFC Fight Night 182 post-fight news conference. “If you look at the rankings, we have three former interim champions: Tony (Ferguson), (Justin) Gaethje and Dustin Poirier. The only two real champs in that division are me and Conor. We were scheduled to fight twice. If the champ leaves the division, why not (book me vs. McGregor)?”

For his part, McGregor indicated on Twitter that he’s “in for sure” – but only after he fights Poirier, which is expected to happen Jan. 23 at UFC 257.

“Yeah, my manager showed me (the tweets) after the fight,” dos Anjos said. “He’s in. I’m in, too. Let’s make it happen.”

McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Dos Anjos  (30-13 MMA, 19-11 UFC) originally were booked to headline UFC 196 in March 2016, with RDA putting his title on the line against McGregor, who had just won the featherweight title with a knockout of Jose Aldo three months prior. But dos Anjos withdrew just two weeks out because of injury, changing the course of history. McGregor went on to lose by submission in a welterweight fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 196, which set up an immediate rematch. Dos Anjos, meanwhile, lost his title to Eddie Alvarez in July 2016, and a potential McGregor fight was lost.

The two nearly crossed paths again, with a targeted date of May 2018 at UFC 224, but it never came to be after McGregor’s infamous bus attack.

So what about now?

“I’m just saying that fight makes sense. It does make sense,” dos Anjos said. “I’ve never pulled out of any fight due to injury. That was my first fight I had to pull out due to injury, and I had my 30th UFC appearance tonight. I’ve been with the company for 12 years. I’ve done a lot. I think champion retiring, Khabib is stepping out and retiring. I think that could be a good matchup, and I’m sure a lot of fans want to see that fight happen.”