Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is slated for a high-stakes welterweight matchup opposite top-ten-ranked welterweight contender Vicente Luque.
First reported by MMA Fighting, both men are expected to make their first appearances of 2023 as part of a UFC Fight Night headliner on July 15. No other details regarding the event have been released by the promotion at this time. News of the matchup broke just hours after Rafael dos Anjos took to Twitter, confirming he had booked his ninth career main event with the promotion.
Currently ranked No. 9 in the lightweight division, the former titleholder is looking to gain some ground in the welterweight division after scoring a second-round submission against Bryan Barberena in December. Dos Anjos went 2-1 in 2022, securing a win over Renato Moicano while suffering a fifth-round knockout against fan-favorite Rafael Fiziev.
Rafael dos Anjos headlines opposite Vicente Luque
After dropping back-to-back bouts against Belal Muhammad and Geoff Neal last year, Vicente Luque is barely clinging onto his No. 10 ranking in the 170-pound division. Prior to the recent setbacks, the Brazilian knockout artist secured four-straight victories over Niko Price, Randy Brown, Tyron Woodley, and Michael Chiesa.
The UFC’s July 15 event is beginning to come together with four other matchups already announced for the summertime showcase. Those fights are as follows:
- Walt Harris vs. Josh Parisian (heavyweight)
- Azat Maksum vs. Tyson Nam (flyweight)
- Alshee Evans-Smith vs. Ailin Perez (bantamweight)
- Norma Dumont vs. Chelsea Chandler (featherweight)