Islam Makhachev vs. Rafael dos Anjos has been rebooked – but with a twist.
Unlike their first booking, Makhachev (18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) vs. dos Anjos (30-13 MMA, 18-11 UFC) will be a five-round affair and serve as the headliner for UFC on ESPN+ 41 on Nov. 14 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The promotion announced the news during the UFC on ESPN+ 39 broadcast on Saturday. The fight was first reported by MMA DNA.
The two fighters were originally slated to fight at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, but dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19. The promotion could not find a suitable replacement to fight Makhachev, so he was also removed from the card.
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 2019.
With the addition, the Nov. 14 lineup includes:
- Islam Makhachev vs. Rafael dos Anjos
- Louis Smolka vs. Jose Quinonez
- Kanako Murata vs. Livinha Souza
- Kay Hansen vs. Cory McKenna
- Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov
- Miranda Granger vs. Ashley Yoder
- Gabriel Benitez vs. Justin Jaynes
- Eryk Anders vs. Antonio Arroyo
- Zarrukh Adashev vs. Jeff Molina
- Don’Tale Mayes vs. Roque Martinez
- Rhys McKee vs. Alex Morono
- Tony Gravely vs. Geraldo de Freitas