A lightweight matchup of former division champion, Rafael dos Anjos and surging contender, Islam Makhachev has been reworked for UFC Vegas 14 on November 14th. – from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The placement of the 155-pound bout is yet to be determined – with a headlining clash for the event still unconfirmed.
The pair were originally scheduled to meet at this weekend’s UFC 254 event on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE – with dos Anjos forced to withdraw from the contest after he had contracted the novel coronavirus ahead of the date. Makhachev who was rumoured to face another opponent on short-notice has himself been removed from the event as well, in favour of a rescheduling on November 14th.
Hoping to snap a two-fight skid on his return to his former 155-pound stomping grounds, Brazilian favourite, dos Anjos dropped a unanimous decision defeat to talented grappler, Michael ‘The Maverick’ Chiesa at UFC Fight Night Raleigh in January.
Riding a six-fight winning streak, Makhachev last featured at UFC 242 in September of last year also on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi – scoring a unanimous decision win over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Davi Ramos. News of the reworked pairing was first penned by MMA DNA reporter, Marcel Dorff.
Prior to his judging loss to Chiesa, dos Anjos headlined UFC Fight Night San Antonio in July of last year – dropping another unanimous decision defeat to perennial welterweight contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards over five-frames.
Briefly returning to the winner’s enclosure, the 35-year-old has struck an arm-triangle win over contender, Kevin ‘The Mo’Town Phenom’ Lee at UFC Fight Night Rochester in May of last year.
A former lightweight titleholder, dos Anjos secured the gold back in March of 2015 at UFC 185 – taking a dominant unanimous decision win over Anthony ‘Showtime’ Petties before lodging his one and only successful title defence against two-time foe, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in December the following year.
Teammate of this weekend’s headliner, lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California – Makhachev has been touted for eventual lightweight title success himself.
As well as his above-noted win over Ramos – the 29-year-old Dagestani has notched Octagon victories over Leo Kuntz, Chris Wade, Gleison Tibau, Nik Lentz, Kajan Johnson, and fellow contender, Arman Tsarukyan.