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Rafael dos Anjos injured, out of UFC 267 fight with Islam Makhachev

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UFC 267 just took a major hit.

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UFC Fight Night: Paul Felder v Rafael Dos Anjos
Rafael dos Anjos before he fought Paul Felder at the UFC APEX.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC 267, which marks the promotion’s return to Fight Island, has taken a big knock, with former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos dropping out of his scheduled bout with Islam Makhachev.

According to MMA Junkie the UFC are currently seeking a new opponent for Makhachev, with hopes of keeping the Dagestani on the October 30 card.

News of this match-up falling through came out via Twitter, when Makhachev and Dos Anjos squabbled about the circumstances around the Brazilian’s withdrawal.

“I don’t believe that you’re injured, again,” wrote Makhachev, alluding to their match-up that was scheduled for UFC 254 in 2020, but was cancelled after Dos Anjos contracted COVID-19.

That fight was pushed back to November, but ultimately cancelled when Makhachev came down with a nasty staph infection.

On Twitter Dos Anjos asked Makhachev, “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.”

Makhachev was heading to Fight Island with hopes of scoring his third win of 2021 and extending his win streak to eight fights. Earlier this year he submitted Drew Dober and Thiago Moises.

Dos Anjos’ last fight was a split decision win over Paul Felder, who stepped in at the last minute (from the commentary booth) to replace Makhachev at UFC on ESPN+ 4.

Before that win Dos Anjos was 1-4 in his last five bouts, with a win over Kevin Lee and losses to Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards and Michael Chiesa.

UFC 267 is set to be headlined by Jan Blachowicz defending his UFC light heavyweight title versus Glover Teixeira. The co-main event was supposed to see Aljamain Sterling defend the UFC bantamweight crown versus Petr Yan. However, Sterling has pulled out of that bout due to injury.

It is believed that Yan will remain on the card and fight Cory Sandhagen for an interim title. UFC 267 is the first numbered UFC event to NOT be a PPV in a long while, it can be viewed on ABC and ESPN+.