After multiple failed previous bookings between the lightweight contenders, the promotion tried again for UFC 267 on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi. A little more than a month out, though, the fight has fallen apart.
MMA Junkie verified with Makhachev’s (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, that the fighter is in need of a new opponent after dos Anjos (31-13 MMA, 19-11 UFC) was forced to withdrawal from the contest.
The confirmation came after the pair exchanged some messages on social media indicating the fight was off, with dos Anjos stating he has a “terribly injury” (via Twitter):
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) September 26, 2021
Do you really think I would fake a surgery? Coming out of another terrible injury. Unlike you I have a family that depends on me and I don’t have another man paying my bills. https://t.co/PDvQ2rhZsq
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) September 26, 2021
Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie that his two preferred candidates to replace dos Anjos would be Tony Ferguson (25-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC), who is in the midst of a three-fight losing skid, or Dan Hooker (21-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC), who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266 on Saturday.
It’s unknown at this time if either of those fights are realistic, but Makhachev, who has won his past eight fights, is no stranger to having difficulty getting fights.
The matchup between Makhachev and dos Anjos was originally scheduled for UFC 254 in October 2020, but dos Anjos caught COVID-19 and was unable to fight. It was rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 182 in November, but then Makhachev caught a bad staph infection that prevented him from competing.
The latest UFC 267 lineup now includes:
Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira – for light heavyweight title
Petr Yan vs. opponent TBA
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Islam Makhachev vs. opponent TBA
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Volkov
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Li Jingliang
Shamil Gamzatov vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
Virna Jandiroba vs. Amanda Ribas
Ricardo Ramos vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Damir Ismagulov vs. Magomed Mustafaev
Makwan Amirkhani vs. opponent TBA
Alen Amedovski vs. Hu Yaozong
Allan Nascimento vs. Tagir Ulanbekov
Albert Duraev vs. Roman Kopylov
Walt Harris vs. Tai Tuivasa
Photos: Rafael dos Anjos through the years
view 58 images
Islam Makhachev def. Davi Ramos at UFC 242: Best photos
view 16 images