Early today it was announced that Rafael Dos Anjos would not be competing at UFC 254 due to a positive COVID-19 test. This news has left his scheduled opponent Islam Makhachev without a fight on the event. Taking to Twitter Makhachev targeted many of the top Lightweight fighters in the UFC offering them the fight on October 24.
“RDA is out yo @MikeChandlerMMA here’s your chance to jump on the Island #UFC254”
Next, he called for Charles Oliveira to take the fight. The #5 ranked UFC Lightweight was scheduled to face Beniel Dariush before pulling from that matchup for undisclosed reasons. Currently, Oliveira does not have a scheduled opponent.
Finally, Makhachev called to face Dan Hooker who is coming off a loss against Dustin Poirier in June. Since then Hooker has been attached to matchups with many of the Lightweights top 10 however nothing has been signed or announced.
Makhachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz reached out to Tony Ferguson offering him the fight against his client stating that Makhachev is the closest thing to Khabib Nurmagomedov and that now RDA is out he could take the fight in his place.
Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight on five different occasions, however, for one reason or another it has fallen through most recently due to the COVID 19 pandemic causing border restrictions. Ferguson was attached to a bout against Dustin Poirier on UFC 254, however, negotiations for this came to a halt due to Poirier not feeling he was being financially compensated. Since this Poirier has shared he signed to face Conor McGregor while Ferguson remains left without an opponent.