The lightweight bout between surging contender Islam Makhachev and former champion Rafael Dos Anjos has been rescheduled for the third time at UFC 267.
Third time’s the charm? ESPN reports that a lightweight match between former champion Rafael dos Anjos and surging contender Islam Makhachev has been rebooked for UFC 267 on October 30. The two were previously scheduled for a bout last October at UFC 254, but a diagnosis of covid on dos Anjos part postponed the bout several weeks until November where a staph infection for Makhachev cancelled the bout altogether.
Islam Makhachev and RDA will settle their unfinished business 😤
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 3, 2021
Makhachev enters the fight on an impressive eight fight win-streak, the second best in the division behind current champion Charles Oliveira who has nine. Since losing his second UFC bout in 2015, Makhachev has been spotless against veterans and up-and-coming contenders such as Thiago Moises, Drew Dober, Gleison Tibau, and Nik Lentz. A teammate and childhood friend of pound-for-pound great Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev’s run has been punctuated by the fact that the former champion has taken an active role in his corner and named him his heir apparent to the lightweight title.
Former champion Rafael dos Anjos continues to add to what has been one of the most difficult schedules of any fighter in the last decade. A veteran of the UFC since 2008, “RDA” has faced a who’s who in the past five years and has a resume with names like Nurmagomedov, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Tony Ferguson, and Robbie Lawler. Dos Anjos has gone back-and-forth with Makhachev on social media the past several months to become one of the most anticipated non-title bouts on the calendar. At 36 years old, it also comes at a critical juncture as Dos Anjos pushes for one more shot at UFC gold.
The event is expected to take place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and is expected to feature a championship double-header with light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz against Glover Teixeira and the bantamweight title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.