Rafael dos Anjos will face one of the division’s hottest prospects in his return to lightweight.
Dos Anjos (30-13 MMA, 18-11 UFC), the former 155-pound titleholder, is set to take on Islam Makhachev (18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) at UFC 254 on Oct. 24. The event is expected to take place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, but has not been officially announced.
MMA Junkie verified the matchup with multiple people close to the situation following an initial report from BJ Penn.com. The people requested anonymity because UFC has yet to make an announcement.
Dos Anjos will return to lightweight for the first time since a November 2016 loss to Tony Ferguson. The Brazilian started out his welterweight tenure at 3-0, but has since dropped four of his past five, with his lone win coming over Kevin Lee. He will return to his original weight class, where he hasn’t won since December 2015, when he takes on the streaking Makhachev.
Makhachev has had a hard time drawing a top-ranked opponent. After suffering his lone career loss in 2015, Makhachev has won six straight, most recently out-grappling Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in September.
With the addition, the latest UFC 254 lineup includes:
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje
- Jared Cannonier vs. Robert Whittaker
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lauren Murphy
- Walt Harris vs. Alexander Volkov
- Sergey Morozov vs. Umar Nurmagomedov
- Rafael dos Anjos vs. Islam Makhachev