Rafael dos Anjos Returns to Lightweight for UFC 254 Showdown with Islam Makhachev

By Tristen Critchfield Aug 19, 2020

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After a stint at 170 pounds, Rafael dos Anjos will return to the lightweight division to face Islam Makhachev at UFC 254.

BJPenn.com was first to report the pairing. UFC 254 is expected to take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 24 and is headlined by a lightweight championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

A former UFC lightweight champion, dos Anjos went 4-4 at welterweight, earning victories against the likes of Robbie Lawler, Neil Magny, Kevin Lee and Tarec Saffiedine. The Brazilian had struggled recently, though, losing four of five Octagon appearances — including a unanimous decision defeat to Michael Chiesa in his last outing at UFC Fight Night 166.

Makhachev will return to action for the first time since outpointing Davi Ramos at UFC 242 last September. The 28-year-old Dagestani is 7-1 in the Las Vegas-based promotion and 18-1 as a professional overall.

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