Former UFC lightweight titleholder, Rafael dos Anjos will return to his old stomping ground of 155-pounds, as the Brazilian veteran attempts to return to the winner’s enclosure opposite Dagestani grappling ace, Islam Makhachev at UFC 254 on October 24th. Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE – is the current frontrunner to host the pay-per-view event.
dos Anjos, 35 – will look to rebound from two straight losses at welterweight, with a unanimous decision defeat coming opposite surging contender, Michael ‘The Maverick’ Chiesa at UFC Fight Night Raleigh in January.
Makhachev looks to extend his winning run to six and pick up the most high-profile victory of his professional career to date, following a decision judging win over dos Anjos’ compatriot, Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi last September. BJPenn.com reporter, Chris Taylor was first to report the news of the lightweight tie.
Rio de Janeiro native, dos Anjos will make his lightweight rebirth – following a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of one-time interim best, Tony Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale back in November 2016. In highlight wins at welterweight since, dos Anjos defeated former Strikeforce titleholder, Tarec Saffiedine, former division kingpin, Robbie Lawler, and the aforenoted Ferguson’s interim title opposition, Kevin Lee.
Rising to Octagon prominence back in 2015 – dos Anjos secured the undisputed lightweight title against former UFC and WEC best, Anthony Pettis in a dominant five-round shutout. In his one and only title defence, the Evolve MMA mainstay managed a second career victory over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone – before dropping the title to decorated lightweight, Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night Las Vegas in July of 2016.
American Kickboxing Academy product, Makhachev, like current lightweight best, and teammate, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been a revelation since his Octagon bow back in May 2015. Landing a 7-1 promotional record, Makhachev has managed to finish three of his UFC opponents.
Prior to his current six-fight rise, Makhachev had dropped a knockout loss to Brazil’s, Adriano Martins – before scoring statement wins over Chris Wade, Nik Lentz, Gleison Tibau, Kajan Johnson, Arman Tsarukyan, and the previously noted, Ramos. From eighteen career wins, Makhachev has secured three knockout wins and seven submission successes.