Rafael dos Anjos announced Thursday via Twitter that he will not be competing at UFC 254. The former lightweight champion made the announcement after testing positive for the coronavirus:
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to compete on the 24th. COVID-19 caught me big time and the doctors cut me out. But soon I will be back victorious inside the Octagon! Nothing can take away the blessing that is upon us. God will provide.”
You can view dos Anjos’s full statement here.
Dos Ajos last competed in January against Michael Chiesa, a bout which saw dos Anjos lose his second consecutive fight. Dos Anjos was looking to make his lightweight return at UFC 254, but it was not to be. As for Islam Makhachev, he has an idea of who should step forward to be dos Anjos’s replacement.
“RDA is out, yo @MikeChandlerMMA here’s your chance to jump on the Island, UFC 254,” Makhachev tweeted.
Islam Makhachev is currently ranked #12 in the lightweight division. Ordinarily, having the chance to debut against a ranked fighter is an opportunity most UFC newcomers would leap at. But when you were in talks to compete against the #2 and #3 ranked fighters while also being guaranteed a title shot if the next title challenger falls out, it becomes a bit more complicated.
Do you believe Michael Chandler replacing Rafael dos Anjos to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 254 makes sense?