It won’t be Islam Makhachev fighting Rafael Dos Anjos after all.
The former UFC Lightweight Champion was left without an opponent for his next fight UFC 272, as Rafael Fiziev tested positive for COVID-19. Following a bit of banter, Dos Anjos would agree to fight Makhachev at 170lbs. However, that matchup wouldn’t come into fruition.
“I called his bluff and he folded,” RDA said. “Let’s move on…”
I called his bluff and he folded. Let’s move on…— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 1, 2022
He did indeed move on.
There was quite a bit of options that the UFC could have went with when it came to RDA’s replacement. Tony Ferguson says he was offered the fight and a ton of other fighters campaigned for the short-notice opportunity. But, it’d only work out for one lightweight and his name was Renato Moicano.
After recently touching down in Brazil, it looks like Moicano is headed back to the states. He’d throw his name in the hat to replace Fiziev, contacting the UFC about the potential opportunity. Fortunately for him, it looks like he’s getting the chance to step up.
With Makhachev off the table, both of the Brazilian fighters have verbally agreed to fight each other at a catchweight of 160lbs. The co-main event slot will stay 5 rounds. Contracted have not been signed as of yet, according to a report from MMA Fighting.
The UFC would confirm the bout.
Moicano is coming off a great win just weeks ago at UFC 271. He would submit Alexander Hernandez in round 2 of their meeting. Since his move to lightweight, he has won 3 out of his last 4 fights. Moicano will now get one of the biggest fights of his career, co-headlining UFC 272 against a former champion.
Dos Anjos would be victorious in his return to lightweight. He would last decision Paul Felder in November 2020. Since then, he has battled some injuries but is now ready to restart his title run.