Islam Makhachev prepares to fight Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49. | Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Fresh off his UFC Vegas 49 win last weekend, Islam Makhachev offered to step in to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272 this Saturday.
On Monday, news broke about the cancellation of UFC 272’s scheduled co-main event lightweight bout between Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev. The latter was pulled off the card after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving the ex-champ with no dance partner all of a sudden.
Fortunately for RDA, someone is willing to step in. Moments after the news broke, number-four ranked 155-pound contender Islam Makhachev made his intentions known about filling in for Fiziev.
The 30-year-old Dagestani wants to settle his “unfinished business” with the Brazilian veteran.
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) February 28, 2022
Dos Anjos immediately agreed, but initially proposed a catchweight.
165lbs!! Division you guy created. I’m game. https://t.co/1HbCdw0dVi
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 28, 2022
But eventually, he agreed to a possible 170-pound fight.
@MAKHACHEVMMA 170lbs I’m in!! Let’s go!!! Don’t run!!
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 1, 2022
The UFC has yet to make things official.
Makhachev and dos Anjos were initially booked to face each other at UFC 254 in October 2020, but that pairing was scrapped after the latter tested positive for COVID-19. The fight was then rebooked for UFC Vegas 14 a month later, but this time, it was Makhachev who withdrew for undisclosed reasons.
The UFC tried to reschedule the bout for a third time at UFC 267 last October. But as fate had it, dos Anjos got injured and was subsequently removed from the booking.
The 30-year-old Makhachev (22-1) is fresh off a first-round TKO win over Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49 last week as he compiled a 10-fight win streak. The 37-year-old Dos Anjos (30-13), meanwhile, hasn’t fought since November 2020 when he defeated Paul Felder via split decision.
UFC 272 happens this Saturday, March 5th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.