Makhachev and Dos Anjos were supposed to meet in October at UFC 254, but the fight was removed from the event after Dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19. A replacement for Makhachev was not sought out as the UFC decided to rebook the fight for last night’s UFC Vegas 14.
Unfortunately, the fight would fall through yet again because Makhachev would be forced out due to an undisclosed injury just days before UFC Vegas 14. This time, the UFC did not rebook the fight, but instead looked for and got a short-notice replacement for dos Anjos in No. 7 ranked lightweight contender, Paul Felder.
Dos Anjos returned to true form in his reintroduction at lightweight as he was able to best Felder in essentially every aspect of the fight, which earned him a split decision win. The performance by dos Anjos received plenty of praise from fighters on social media, and Makhachev was one of them.
Makhachev sent a congratulatory message to dos Anjos and followed up with a request that the two should reschedule their now seemingly elusive fight.
Great fight @RdosAnjosMMA congrats! Let’s finish our business in nearest future— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) November 15, 2020
With a win over a ranked contender like Felder, it is likely that dos Anjos will be in the top ten of the lightweight division, so he is looking for fights that can get him closer to acquiring the championship again. He said as much in his post-fight interviews where he suggested meeting a name like former two-division champion, Conor McGregor, for his next appearance.
As for Makhachev, there is no word on when he will be able to return to competition after recuperating from his injury, but he did say he would be back soon.