Islam Makhachev is out of the UFC Vegas 14 main event with former champion Rafael dos Anjos this Saturday. A replacement opponent is currently being sought.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports that Islam Makhachev is out of the UFC Vegas 14 main event with Rafael dos Anjos this coming Saturday. A replacement is being sought to fill in for the bout on six days’ notice.
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) November 9, 2020
In recent weeks, the interest in Islam Makhachev’s career has intensified as the 29-year-old from Dagestan has recently been referred to as the heir apparent to UFC gold by current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and coach Javier Mendez of the American Kickboxing Academy. Makhachev is 18-1 and is on a six-fight win streak in the UFC. The fight with dos Anjos was set to be his biggest test to date and likely would have propelled him quickly up the rankings with a victory.
Former champion Rafael Dos Anjos is looking to snap a two-fight skid and compete for the first time since January. After surging to a 3-0 start when he moved up to welterweight, Dos Anjos hit a rough patch in going 1-4 since 2018. The fight with Makhachev was set to be his first back at 155 pounds since 2016. The two were previously scheduled to fight at UFC 254 in October before dos Anjos tested positive for Covid-19 and was removed from the event.
Currently no replacement has been named, though it is possible that dos Anjos could fight at welterweight or a catchweight considering the short time a possible opponent will have had to prepare and make weight.
Losing the main event leaves the already iffy card in a tough spot. Bryan Barberena pulled out of the card earlier this week due to a medical emergency and now the highest bout on the card is Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Khaos Williams.