Rafael dos Anjos will remain on this weekend’s UFC 272 card, but it won’t be against Islam Makhachev.
The promotion announced on Tuesday that fellow Brazilian Renato Moicano will step in on just a few days notice to take on the former UFC lightweight champion on March 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Moicano is replacing Rafael Fiziev, who pulled out of the bout after a recent COVID-19 positive case.
Obviously there was excitement that Makhachev, who just beat Bobby Green in last week’s UFC Vegas 49 main event, would have a rapid turnaround and take on dos Anjos after several previous bookings of that matchup were called off. There was mutual interest, but we won’t see these two compete any time soon. Dos Anjos seemingly took a jab at Makhachev by suggesting he didn’t want the fight at all.
I called his bluff and he folded. Let’s move on...— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 1, 2022
Dos Anjos (30-13) returned to lightweight in late 2020 after consecutive defeats to Leon Edwards and Michael Chiesa. He was, of course, supposed to face Islam Makhachev in November of that year but Makhachev was ruled out with a staph infection. The 37-year-old instead took on Paul Felder and won by decision.
Moicano (16-4-1) is coming off a second-round submission win over Alexander Hernandez at UFC 271 last month. After compiling a 5-3 record and establishing himself as a featherweight contender, Renato moved up to lightweight in 2020 and quickly submitted Damir Hadzovic. He suffered a brutal KO loss to Rafael Fiziev at UFC 256, but has since bounced back with the aforementioned win over Hernandez as well as a prior rear-naked choke finish of Jai Herbert.
Even with the short notice, the fight is still scheduled to be five rounds like RDA-Fiziev initially was, but it will be at a 160 lbs catchweight. This will be the second scheduled five-rounder of Moicano’s career, having previously lost by KO to Chan Sung Jung in under a minute back in 2019.
UFC 272’s main event is a five-round bout between former welterweight title challengers Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.