A rescheduled lightweight pairing between former division champion, Rafael dos Anjos and the surging grappling talent, Islam Makhachev has been added to UFC 267 on Oct. 30 from ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The two were initially booked to lock horns in the main event of UFC Vegas 14 back in December, until Makhachev was forced from the bout due to an injury. Former champion, dos Anjos would meet with the now-retired Paul Felder at the event — who was originally slated to feature in the commentary booth. The Brazilian would go on to score a clear-cut split decision win.
Returning to the lightweight ranks in his last outing against Philidelphia native, Felder, veteran one-time gold holder, dos Anjos snapped a run of two straight losses in his comeback to 155lbs.
Featuring recently in the main event of UFC Vegas 31 last month, Makahchev extended his undefeated spree to a whopping eight consecutive victories with an eventual fourth round rear-naked choke triumph against Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Thiago Moises. News of the rebooked lightweight showdown was initially reported by ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto.
Boasting a 30-13 professional record, Niteroi native, dos Anjos struck Octagon gold back in March of 2015 at UFC 185 via a unanimous decision over now-PFL contender, Anthony Pettis. In his sole successful title defence, the Brazilian stopped Donald Cerrone with a quickfire combination that December, before eventually dropping the title to Eddie Alvarez in an opening round knockout loss in July 2016.
dos Anjos recently weighed in as a potential backup for the UFC 264 main event between Dustin Poirier and once-scheduled opponent, Conor McGregor, with footage emerging detailing a backstage verbal altercation between dos Anjos and the Dubliner.
The 36-year-old has managed to take home UFC victories against the likes of George Sotiropoulos, Evan Dunham, Donald Cerrone (x2), Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, Neil Magny, Robbie Lawler, Kevin Lee, and Paul Felder.
American Kickboxing Academy standout, Makhachev is in the midst of an eight-fight rise through the lightweight ranks — with his most recent win taking him to the #5 slot in the division.
Of note as part of his winning run, the Makhachkala native has scored wins against the likes of Gleison Tibau, Arman Tsarukyan, Davi Ramos, Drew Dober, and the aforenoted, Moises.
UFC 267 takes place on Oct. 30 from Abu Dhabi, UAE — and features a light heavyweight title headliner between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. In the night’s co-headlining tilt, a bantamweight championship title re-run between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan has been booked.
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