Rafael Dos Anjos-Islam Makhachev Reportedly Set For UFC 254
A former UFC Lightweight Champion is looking to head back to a division he once controlled.
BJPenn.com was the first to report that Rafael dos Anjos will be ending his stint at welterweight to face off against Islam Makhachev. The lightweight bout will take place at UFC 254.
dos Anjos (29-13) made his professional debut in 2004. The 35-year-old made his UFC debut in 2008. Following multiple fights against a Murders’ Row of fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Benson Henderson, and Nate Diaz, dos Anjos beat Anthony Pettis in 2015 for the UFC Lightweight Title. He lost it the next year to Eddie Alvarez. The last lightweight bout for him was against Tony Ferguson in 2016, losing via unanimous decision.
Since then, dos Anjos has fought for the welterweight division. He is 4-4 in the division, fighting for the interim Welterweight Title once. On a two-fight losing streak, dos Anjos’ last bout was against Michael Chiesa back in January.
Makhachev (18-1) is a rising star in the lightweight division. Making his UFC debut in 2015, the 28-year-old is 7-1 with the promotion. On a six-fight win streak and ranked number eleven in the UFC’s lightweight rankings, Makhachev last fought in September 2019, beating Davi Ramos at UFC 242.
UFC 254 will either be taking place in Las Vegas or “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. The scheduled main event will be a UFC Lightweight Title fight between Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje.