A lightweight rescheduling between former division champion, the #6 ranked contender, Rafael dos Anjos, and the surging Kazakhstan-born striker, Rafael Fiziev – who occupies the #10 rank at 115lbs, is currently in the works to serve as the headliner for an upcoming UFC on ESPN+ 67 main event on July 9. At the time of publication, an official location or venue for the event has yet to be determined by the organization.
Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev were twice scheduled to meet earlier this year
Earlier this year, Rafael dos Anjos was scheduled to UFC Vegas 48 against Fiziev in February, until VISA issues forced the latter from the contest. Rebooked for UFC 272 the following week, dos Anjos once more saw the pairing shelved after Fiziev returned a positive test for COVID-19.
In his most recent outing, however, Rafael dos Anjos would remain in the co-main event bracket of UFC 272 in March, besting compatriot, Renato Moicano in a five round co-headliner on short notice, lodging a unanimous decision success in a 160lb catchweight bout.
Undefeated in his last five straight Octagon outings, Fiziev most recently defeated former training partner, Brad Riddell at UFC Vegas 44 in December of last year, landing a highlight-reel wheel kick and follow up strikes knockout win. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto was first to report the news of dos Anjos’ rescheduled matchup with Fiziev.
“Rebooked,” Okamoto tweeted. “Not official, but UFC close to finalizing RDA (Rafael dos Anjos) (@RdosAnjosMMA) vs. Rafael Fiziev (@RafaelFiziev) as it’s main event for a UFC Fight NIght on July 9.”
Returning to the lightweight limit at UFC Vegas 14 in November of 2020, dos Anjos, who was booked to fight the surging, Islam Makhachev at the UFC Apex facility – eventually shared the Octagon with Paul Felder over the course of five rounds, landing a one-sided split decision win.
Winning the undisputed lightweight title at UFC 185 in March 2015, dos Anjos defeated Anthony Pettis to win the championship, before turning in his sole successful title defense with December rematch knockout win over Donald Cerrone.
11-1 as a professional with seven knockout victories, Fiziev, who lost his Octagon debut against Magomed Mustafaev in April 2019, has since struck a rich vein of form – defeating Alex White, Marc Diakiese, common-foe, Moicano, as well as Bobby Green, and the above mentioned, Riddell.
Furthermore, the promotion have also set an August 6. main event bracket between one-time light heavyweight title challenger, Thiago Santos, and the surging division knockout artist, Jamahal Hill — as per an initial report from MMA Junkie.