Rafael Dos Anjos asserted that the fight camp in the lead-up to his main-event matchup at UFC Vegas 14 was a rollercoaster. He also expressed his gratitude towards everyone who helped him prepare for the all-important fight.
Rafael dos Anjos’ lightweight return was jeopardized on more than one occasion
After going 4-4 in his recent stint at welterweight, the UFC lightweight division’s former kingpin Rafael dos Anjos let fans in on the fact that he’d be staging a comeback to the lightweight division this year.
Dos Anjos’ last fight, contested at welterweight, transpired in January and witnessed him lose via unanimous decision to Michael Chiesa.
RDA was then scheduled to return to the lightweight division against top prospect Islam Makhachev. Their three-round lightweight bout was set to take place at UFC 254 on October 24th, 2020.
However, on October 8th, it was revealed that Rafael Dos Anjos had tested positive for COVID-19. Resultantly, RDA was coerced to withdraw from UFC 254 and his fight against Makhachev was rebooked to take place at UFC Vegas 14.
Dos Anjos was set to face Makhachev in a five-round main event matchup at UFC Vegas 14 on November 14th, 2020. The vast majority of MMA fans and experts regarded this exciting stylistic clash as one of the lightweight division’s most important fights of the 2020 calendar year.
On one hand, a win for Rafael Dos Anjos would help him make a statement in his return to the lightweight division. On the other hand, a win for Islam Makhachev would help him add a former champion to his list of wins and ascend to the upper echelons of the UFC lightweight division.
Prior to their UFC Vegas 14 matchup, which was the second time they were booked to fight one another, Makhachev withdrew from the fight on November 8th, 2020, owing to a staph infection.
Needless to say, Rafael dos Anjos’ long-awaited return to the lightweight division was once again seemingly jeopardized. The UFC had to find a fighter who could replace Makhachev to fight RDA on just five days’ notice.
Thankfully, high-ranking UFC lightweight Paul Felder stepped in on five days’ notice to fight Dos Anjos. Their fight went the five-round distance and RDA was awarded the victory via split decision.
Rafael dos Anjos has now issued a statement on the sequence of unforeseen developments, as well as his lightweight comeback fight finally coming to fruition. RDA posted a photo on his Instagram account with the following caption.
“Last camp was a roller coaster, covid, fight cancelation, 5 days notice for a totally different opponent but when you have Jesus in your corner nothing can go wrong. I want to thank every man on this picture for the great work they’ve done helping me get the win last night @gio_biscardi @dede_pederneiras @emersonfalcaovieira @piratiev_oficial”Published 16 Nov 2020, 04:43 IST