Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos appears to be in tremendous shape ahead of a return to 155lbs against Islam Makhachev.
As first reported by BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor, RDA will move back down to lightweight and he will meet a rising top-15 contender in the form of Makhachev. The two will battle it out on the undercard of UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje, which is set to take place on October 24. The event will likely take place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Ahead of his return to the lightweight division, RDA posted a video of himself shadow boxing and looking in tremendous shape. Check it out via his Instagram below.
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RDA IS BACK Pain is only temporary but victory is forever
This is a huge fight for both men in the stacked UFC lightweight division. For RDA, it’s the chance to jump back into the lightweight top-15 right away, while for Makhachev a win over RDA would give him that marquee name on his resume that’s needed to land a top-10 opponent his next time out. Safe to say this fight is a big deal.
RDA (29-13) won the UFC lightweight title from Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 in 2015 and defended it once against Donald Cerrone later that year. In his second title defense, he ended up getting knocked out by Eddie Alvarez to lost the belt. After a loss to Tony Ferguson, dos Anjos moved up to 170lbs. Since 2017 he has competed in the welterweight division and has racked up a 4-4 overall record. However, after losing four of his last five fights at 170, RDA has decided to make the move back down to 155lbs at the age of 35.
Makhachev (18-1) is one of the top-15 ranked fighters in the UFC lightweight division. The 28-year-old Russian is feared by many fighters and he has had trouble getting opponents to sign on the dotted line against him. Overall, Makhachev is 7-1 in the UFC and he is currently riding a six-fight win streak. Many have pegged him as a potential champion at 155lbs, and beating someone as respected as RDA is would be a big win under his belt.
Do you think Rafael dos Anjos can defeat Islam Makhachev?