Just a week prior to his fight against Rafael dos Anjos, American Kickboxing Academy prospect Islam Makhachev has withdrawn from his highly-awaited lightweight clash. Taking to Twitter, Luis Pena wrote that he's willing to step in as a last minute replacement for Islam Makhachev and is ready to fight Rafael dos Anjos.
Initially set to headline the upcoming UFC Vegas 14 card, an undisclosed injury has now forced Makhachev out of the fight. His opponent RDA has called for Michael Chandler as a replacement, but it would seem that Luis Pena is more interested in stepping up.
Here is what 'Violent Bob Ross' wrote on Twitter:
Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev were initially set to collide at UFC 254. However, the fight fell through after RDA tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the UFC decided to promote the fight as a main event at UFC Vegas 14.
Following Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement at UFC 254, The Eagle has been hyping up the return of his teammate Islam Makhachev to the Octagon. However, it now looks like the lightweight prospect will have to wait a while before returning to action.
Will Luis Pena step in for Islam Makhachev?
Luis Pena was last seen in Octagon action in June when he lost to Khama Worthy via submission. Prior to his loss, Pena did secure wins over the likes of Steve Garcia, Matt Wiman and Steven Peterson.
As for Islam Makhachev, the Russian has been on a terrorizing run in the UFC. The talented 155-pound prospect has been undefeated since 2015. His last three wins in the UFC have been over Arman Tsarukyan, Davi Ramos, and Kajan Johnson.
It remains to be seen when Makhachev returns to action next. The fighter is likely to be unavailable for the remainder of the year and could only return after Ramadan in the latter half of the 2021.