Former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos is slated for a return to action in two month’s time at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, UAE — in the form of a lightweight rescheduling against the streaking grappling ace, Islam Makhachev.
The former division pacesetter was booked to headline a UFC Vegas 14 event back in December of last year against Makhachev, however, the latter was forced from the outing due to an injury. dos Anjos would later go on to meet with Paul Felder at the event on short-notice — scoring a rather dubious, clear-cut split decision victory over the now-retired UFC colour commentator.
Snapping a prior two-fight losing skid in his return to lightweight, dos Anjos currently holds the #7 rank in the official 155lbs rankings, two slots beneath the #5 rated, Makhachev.
Last featuring at UFC Vegas 31 last month in his first promotional main event, Makhachev took home an eventual fourth round rear-naked choke victory over American Top Team Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Thiago Moises. The victory came as Makhachev’s eighth win consecutively. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto was first to report the rescheduling of the pairing.
A former undisputed lightweight champion, Niteroi native, dos Anjos managed to take home the championship with a unanimous decision victory over former UFC and WEC lightweight best, Anthony Pettis at UFC 185.
In his sole successful title knockback, dos Anjos headlined UFC Fight Night Orlando back in December of 2015 with an opening round knockout triumph over Donald Cerrone in a rematch success.
With a professional record of 30-12, dos Anjos, who has nabbed 10 submission successes to go with a further five knockout wins, the Brazilian has taken high-profile Octagon wins over Kevin Lee, Robbie Lawler, Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Neil Magny, Evan Dunham, and George Sotiropoulos to name a few.
29-year-old Dagestani grappler, Makhachev improved to 20-1 with his impressive submission victory over Moises last month, adding the Brazilian to a run of eight straight successes. The American Kickboxing Academy product has managed to best Moises, Drew Dober, Davi Ramos, Arman Tsarukyan, Kajan Johnson, Gleison Tibau, Nik Lentz, and Chris Wade on his eye-catching divisional tear.