Rafael dos Anjos Bout with Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 At Risk of Cancellation

Rafael dos Anjos, UFC
Rafael dos Anjos, UFC 264 official weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Rafael Dos Anjos’ bout with Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 is in jeopardy after the former UFC champion confirms that he recently underwent surgery.

On Sunday, Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev confirmed via social media that their fight on October 30 at UFC 267 is at risk of falling apart.  Rumors began when Makhachev took to Twitter to say that he felt dos Anjos was faking an injury and dos Anjos later confirmed it by asking why he would fake a surgery after already having dealt with a serious injury earlier this year.

It was later reported in an interview with Sherdog that dos Anjos had recently undergone a knee surgery and was doing everything he could to keep the fight with Makhachev intact, but that he would ultimately be making his final decision within the next week.  Per his interview:

“I’m already walking without crutches, in 10 days I need to be able to spar. I’m a fighter; I always want to fight. We already told the UFC what happened. By the way, the UFC was great at paying for all my surgery expenses. But of course, I can’t decide alone. I have to hear from my trainer, my doctor, and physiotherapist. We must take the final decision in one week.”

This is the third time that the fight between dos Anjos and Makhachev would be cancelled if it does indeed fall through.  A case of COVID-19 took dos Anjos out of their first scheduled fight at UFC 254 last October, then their rescheduled bout was scrapped for that following November due to a staph infection for Makhachev.

Dos Anjos has not fought since his November bout with Paul Felder (who replaced Makhachev) in which he bested the now retired contender in a five round contest.  After dealing with a nagging injury since the bout, the contest with Makhachev was one of the most anticipated on the card as it added to the former champion’s streak of facing consecutively ranked opponents.

Makhachev rides an eight fight win-streak going into the bout and has already  defeated Drew Dober and Thiago Moises in 2021.  After much talk between the two on social media, the fight with Dos Anjos was amongst the most anticipated for UFC 267 as most expected Makhachev to possibly leap into title contention with a victory.

UFC 267 is set to take place on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi and is scheduled to be headlined by light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz taking on top contender Glover Teixeira.