The reason why Rafael dos Anjos vs. Islam Makhachev won't happen anytime soon

Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev
Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev
Modified 16 Mar 2021

Islam Makhachev and Rafael dos Anjos will have to wait a little longer to face each other because the Brazilian needs time to recover from a sports hernia surgery. The two fighters were first scheduled to lock horns in October 2020, but the bout had to be canceled due to 'RDA' testing positive for COVID-19.

Makhachev then decided to move on from the clash and find himself another opponent - Drew Dobber. After defeating the American at UFC 259, the Russian challenged Tony Ferguson, who snubbed him.

Trained and promoted by the current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev has an incredible MMA record of 19-1, but Dos Anjos is not impressed.

The former lightweight champion claimed people should stop feeding the hype surrounding the new 155 lb Russian rising star and asked the UFC for a fight.

However, there is a catch. Dos Anjos imposed that he only wants to fight Islam Makhachev if Khabib accepts to fight him next in case of a victory.

ESPN's Ariel Helwani and Daniel Cormier discussed the matter in the latest episode of their podcast DC & Helwani. According to the Canadian journalist, Dos Anjos will have to recover from surgery before a fight can happen anyway.

"I reached out to Rafael dos Anjos, and by the way, he had a great tweet a couple of days ago saying, 'alright, I'll fight you Islam Makhachev, if when I beat you, I get to fight your boy Khabib [Nurmagomedov].' Great stipulation. I mean, this is a tremendous storyline," Helwani said.
"But, I've spoken to him on Saturday, and he told me on Friday that he had surgery for a sports hernia that he has been battling since before the [Paul] Felder fight. He's out for six to eight weeks. He said, 'I will take that fight. I have no problem, but I need six to eight weeks. And I want the agreement to be made, that if I beat this guy, I get his boy Khabib next,'" Helwani revealed.

Khabib and Dos Anjos fought back in 2014, and although 'The Eagle' won the fight, he had a much longer road towards the lightweight championship. While RDA became the champion a year later against Anthony Pettis, Khabib only made his way to the 150 lb belt in 2018.

Khabib Nurmagomedov would put money for Islam Makhachev vs. Rafael dos Anjos to happen

According to Chael Sonnen, Khabib Nurmagomedov is running after the UFC to bring the fight between his protegee Islam Makhachev and former foe Rafael dos Anjos into fruition.

According to the former middleweight title challenger, 'The Eagle' has told him that he would be putting extra money into promoting the fight and that he would go to the location personally.

Published 16 Mar 2021
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