Rafael dos Anjos out of UFC 267; Islam Makhachev needs new opponent

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Rafael dos Anjos vs. Islam Makhachev is off – again.

After multiple failed previous bookings between the lightweight contenders, the promotion tried again for UFC 267 on Oct. 30. A little more than a month out, though, the fight has fallen apart.

MMA Junkie verified with Makhachev’s (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, that the fighter is in need of a new opponent after dos Anjos (31-13 MMA, 19-11 UFC) was forced to withdrawal from the contest.

The confirmation came after the pair exchanged some messages on social media indicating the fight was off, with dos Anjos stating he has a “terribly injury” (via Twitter):

Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie that his two preferred candidates to replace dos Anjos would be Tony Ferguson, who is in the midst of a three-fight losing skid, or Dan Hooker, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266 on Saturday.

It’s unknown at this time if either of those fights are realistic, but Makhachev, who has won his past eight fights, is no stranger to having difficulty getting fights.

The fight between Makhachev and dos Anjos was originally scheduled for September 2020, but dos Anjos caught COVID-19. It was rescheduled for November, but then Makhachev caught COVID-19 and it was canceled again.