Count it third time lucky for this lightweight pairing. Former division champion, Rafael dos Anjos is once more slated to headline an event against streaking 155lb striker, Rafael Fiziev – with the promotion set to top a UFC on ESPN+ 67 card on July 9. with the lightweight duo. At the time of publication, an official location or venue for the event has yet to be confirmed.
Rafael dos Anjos, 37, managed to scoop the #6 rank in the official lightweight rankings upon his November 2020 return to the division, and most recently landed his second consecutive victory in the form of a one-sided unanimous decision win over compatriot, Renato Moicano at UFC 272 in March over the course of five rounds.
Rafael dos Anjos landed the UFC lightweight crown at UFC 185 against Anthony Pettis
Forcing a 160lb catchweight pairing, Fiziev, a native of Kazakhstan, was forced to withdraw from a pair of fights with former lightweight titleholder, dos Anjos over the course of three weeks – the first due to visa issues, and the second after he tested positive for COVID-19. As per ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto, however, dos Anjos and Fiziev has been booked to headline a UFC Fight Night event on July 9.
“Rebooked,” Okamoto tweeted. “Not official, but UFC close to finalizing RDA (Rafael dos Anjos) (@RdosAnjosMMA) vs. Rafael Fiziev (@RafaelFiziev) as it’s main event for a UFC Fight Night on July 9.”
dos Anjos, a native of Niteroi, Brazil – returned to his former lightweight stomping grounds in November 2020 against short-notice replacement, Paul Felder – snapping a run of welterweight defeats with a one-sided split decision win over the Philadelphia favorite.
For Fiziev, the Tiger Muay Thai trainee has embarked on an eye-catching five-fight winning run to land at #10 in the official lightweight pile since a promotional debut loss to Magomed Mustafaev.
Most recently, Fiziev stopped New Zealand native, Brad Riddell with an eventual third round wheel kick knockout at UFC Vegas 44 in December of last year. Fiziev also holds notable wins over both Bobby Green, and a first round stoppage over common-opponent, Moicano during his current rise through the ranks.