Makhachev-Dos Anjos added to UFC 267
A pivotal lightweight bout between Islam Makhachev and Rafael dos Anjos is set for UFC 267 on Oct. 30, both camps confirmed to ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
The 155-pound contenders were twice slated to meet in the fourth quarter of 2020, with Dos Anjos testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of their scheduled UFC 254 bout in October and then Makhachev pulling out of a November main event due to illness.
Dos Anjos told Okamoto he wanted the fight to be five rounds, but ultimately agreed to a three-rounder.
"Islam doesn't want to fight five rounds," Dos Anjos said. "That was my request, but it didn't work out. So, fine. Let's do three then. He's been talking a lot of crap, let's see who is who now. I'm ready to go. This is a title eliminator (in) my eyes."
Makhachev's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told Okamoto his fighter did not care whether the bout with Dos Anjos was booked for three or five rounds. Abdelaziz also agreed that the winner should receive a title shot.
"The UFC offered a three-round fight and Islam said yes," he said. "We don't care about the number of rounds, it's no problem. The UFC asked for this, and this is what the UFC got."
Makhachev is coming off a fourth-round submission win over Thiago Moises in his first UFC headliner in July. That victory moved the Russian up to No. 5 in the lightweight rankings.
Dos Anjos, a former champion who currently sits at No. 7, defeated short-notice replacement Paul Felder via split decision last November after Makhachev withdrew. The Brazilian snapped a two-fight skid and bounced back from a 1-4 stretch with that result.
UFC 267 will reportedly feature a light heavyweight title fight between champion Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, as well as a bantamweight title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan. The card is reportedly expected to be the first non-pay-per-view numbered event since 2011 and is reportedly targeted for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.