Because the Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Islam Makhachev fight has been canceled yet again due to injury, UFC 267 will have to find a new name to face the Dagestan fighter.
Ali Abdelaziz, Islam Makhachev's manager, has recently confirmed that Dagestan's opponent Rafael Dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion, will withdraw from the fight scheduled at UFC 267 in late October.
The Brazilian boxer's knee injury, which forced him to undergo two arthroscopic surgeries in the last six months, was revealed to be the cause. Although he was able to walk without crutches and begin light exercises, doctors advised Dos Anjos not to compete to ensure his recovery.
The match between Islam Makhachev and Rafael Dos Anjos has been postponed three times since the end of 2020. The first time was in October at UFC 254 when Dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19. The second time was at UFC Fight Night 182 when Islam Makhachev had a staph infection, and the third time was at UFC 267.
Due to knee surgery, Rafael Dos Anjos was forced to withdraw from the match against Islam Makhachev.
Rafael Dos Anjos reacted with anger on his page after Islam Makhachev expressed disappointment with the incident, even though he himself did not want his plans to be ruined.
"I don’t believe that you’re injured.., again" - Islam Makhachev on Twitter.
"Do you really think I would fake a surgery? Coming out of another terrible injury. Unlike you I have a family that depends on me and I don’t have another man paying my bills." - Dos Anjos responded.
Manager Ali Abdelaziz told the press that a number of options are currently being considered, including Tony Ferguson, who is ranked just behind Makhachev in lightweight, and Dan Hooker, who recently won the tournament at UFC 266 yesterday.
In less than a month, Islam Makhachev must find a new opponent.
Due to the previous controversy between Tony Ferguson and Islam's retired senior - Khabib Nurmagomedov - and the fact that Tony Ferguson has not won in his last three matches, the match with Tony would primarily be about gaining fame. Dan Hooker, who won against Nasrat Haqparast, also needs medical clearance to continue playing after a month.
Beneil Dariush, an Iranian-American boxer who is currently ranked third in his weight category, is another option that is considered both challenging and valuable. Dariush has won 7 games in a row, almost matching Islam's record of 8. In particular, the boxer, born in 1989 and has won three World Jiujitsu Gold medals, is regarded as a worthy opponent for Islam Makhachev due to his ability to lock wrestling.
However, because Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush are both managed by Ali Abdelaziz, the chances of these two competing in the UFC are slim.
As a result, UFC 267 lost two fighters in a single day, making the October 31 event far less appealing than it had been. The defending bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling had announced his withdrawal, forcing the rematch with former king Petr Yan to be canceled.