Red hot prospect Islam Makhachev was expected to face former lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos late last year. Now it seems their paths are expected to finally cross, as they have been booked to fight again, this time at UFC 267.
Makhachev and RDA were slated to face off at UFC 254 in October of 2020, but the former champ was forced out due to a positive COVID-19 test. The bout was rescheduled for a Fight Night card a few weeks later, only for the Khabib Nurmagomedov protege to pull out this time around.
After that, both men went their separate ways, but it appears they are being scheduled to fight once again. Dos Anjos posted to Twitter to reveal that he had been offered the fight, and a few days later multiple reports have indicated that the bout is official for UFC 267, set to take place on October 30th, in Abu Dhabi.
I just heard back from the UFC that Islam accepted to fight me Oct 30 5 rounds in Abu Dhabi and Khabib agreed to come out of retirement to avenge his brother’s loss after that.
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) July 22, 2021
Big Stakes In Islam Makhachev vs Rafael Dos Anjos
There is a lot on the line in this massive lightweight matchup between Islam Makhachev and Rafael Dos Anjos. For the former champ, he is looking to get closer to the lightweight title picture by beating Islam, who is ranked number 5.
For the Dagestani, he will be taking on his biggest test to date, and potentially prove that he is deserving of that number 5 place in the rankings. Many fans were confused how he jumped from being ranked 14th to 5th, after beating a man who was ranked 15, but a win here would silence many of his doubters.
This is a huge fight for both Islam Makhachev and Rafael Dos Anjos, and was one that fans were heartbroken to have missed the first time around. Hopefully the MMA gods are generous, and this match-up can finally take place on Halloween Eve, at UFC 267.