Originally slated for this weekend’s UFC 254 event in Abu Dhabi, UAE – the lightweight pairing of former division titleholder, Rafael dos Anjos and streaking contender, Islam Makhachev will now land on UFC Vegas 14 at the UFC Apex facility on November 14.
Rio de Janeiro native, dos Anjos was scheduled to make his divisional return at the October 24 event, but released a statement in the weeks before the showcase, detailing how he had tested positive for COVID-19 – ruling him from the pairing with Makhachev. With the promotion initially searching for a short-notice replacement for the Brazilian, they’ve now decided to match the two on the November 14. Las Vegas card instead.
Making his second Octagon appearance of this annum, Evolve MMA mainstay, dos Anjos dropped his second consecutive loss at UFC Fight Night Raleigh in January opposite submission ace Michael Chiesa over three-rounds.
For American Kickboxing Academy mainstay, Makhachev, the wrestling ace looks to snap a fourteen-month hiatus from active competition – with his most recent appearance coming at UFC 242 in September of last year where he notched his six straight win in a unanimous judging win over grappling standout, Davi Ramos. Marcel Dorff of MMA DNA was first to report the news of the rescheduled bout.
dos Anjos, 34 – is a former UFC lightweight champion, claiming the crown at UFC 185 in 2014 with an inspired unanimous decision display against former WEC and UFC 155-pound best, Anthony Pettis. Prior his title loss to Eddie Alvarez, the Brazilian scored his sole successful title defence against future Hall of Famer, Donald Cerrone in a rematch knockout win in December of 2015.
Since his move to welterweight back in June of 2017 – dos Anjos has scored a 4-4 promotional record, picking up wins over Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny, former champion, Robbie Lawler, and Kevin Lee. In defeats, RDA dropped blemishes to Colby Covington, current champion, Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards, and the aforenoted, Chiesa.
Dagestani force, Makhachev looks to continue his rise to eventual lightweight division gold with a high-profile pairing with dos Anjos. With a promotional résumé of 7-1 – the 29-year-old has only suffered one professional loss, a 2015 knockout defeat against dos Anjos’ compatriot, Adriano Martins.
Prior to his judging win over Ramos last year – the Javier Mendez student scored other eye-catching wins over Arman Tsarukyan, Kajan Johnson, Gleison Tibau, and Nik Lentz.