Rafael dos Anjos is set to face Renato Moicano at UFC 272. | Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages
Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos wanted Islam Makhachev to replace Rafael Fiziev.
Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos was almost left without an opponent at UFC 272. After Rafael Fiziev was forced to leave the card due to COVID-19, many athletes stepped up to take the short-notice spot. Once it was all said and one, fellow Brazilian Renato Moicano became the official replacement.
However, rising contender Islam Makhachev was one of the most vocal lightweights to throw his name into the conversation, which made Rafael believe a fight against the Russian was a real possibility.
Soon after, though, negotiations fell through and the UFC president Dana White announced that Makhachev had declined the offer. In an interview with Ag Fight, a disgruntled Dos Anjos shared his thoughts about the turn of events.
“I’d rather not even say that guy’s name. What he did was really disrespectful. He talked so much on the internet, he said he wanted the fight at a heavier weight class. I was at that weight, I was ready to fight. He ran way. He doesn’t even deserve to have people talking about him. I respect Moicano. He showed up and took the fight.”
In his last outing, Dos Anjos (30-13) scored a split decision against Paul Feder, in November 2020. The victory made the 37-year-old snap a two-fight losing skid, with unanimous decision losses to Leon Edwards and Michael Chiesa.
Now, Rafael is expected to take on Moicano in a catchweight bout (160 pounds) at UFC 272, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The March 5th card is scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight bout between former interim champion Colby Covingnton and BMF champ Jorge Masvidal.