Former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos (32-14 MMA, 20-12 UFC) will revert from his brief return to the division where he once held gold and jump back up to welterweight for a clash with Bryan Barberena (18-8 MMA, 9-6 UFC) at UFC Fight Night on Dec. 3.
MMA Junkie confirmed with multiple people close to the situation that the matchup has been agreed to take place at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. Brazilian news outlet Combate was first to report the pairing.
Dos Anjos, 37, won the lightweight title at UFC 185 in 2015 when he defeated Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision. At UFC on FOX 17, he recorded his only title defense by quickly finishing Donald Cerrone in 66 seconds.
In the years since, dos Anjos’ journey has been a series of ups and downs against the best fighters available in the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
Returning from a 15-month layoff in March, dos Anjos defeated Renato Moicano to make it two-straight wins following a split decision nod over Paul Felder in November 2020. However, in his second outing of the calendar year, Rafael Fiziev finished the former champ early in the fifth round of their main event contest.
He’ll get a tough out in his move back to 170 pounds as Barberena, 33, has been on a roll. “Bam Bam” has won four of his past five but has found recent success against legends of the game in scoring a second-round TKO of Robbie Lawler at UFC 276 in July after edging Matt Brown by split decision at UFC on ESPN 33 in March.
The latest lineup for UFC Orlando includes:
Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland
Derek Brunson vs. Jack Hermansson
Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas
Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce
Matheus Nicolau vs. Matt Schnell
Eryk Anders vs. Kyle Daukaus
Marc Diakiese vs. Michael Johnson
Clay Guida vs. Scott Holtzman
Emily Ducote vs. Angela Hill
Bryan Barberena vs. Rafael dos Anjos