Former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos has pulled out from UFC 254 after he tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier RDA issued a statement :
“COVID19 caught me big time and the doctors cut me out. I came to rescue my dream of being a champion again, and that goal was achieved … none of this was in vain.”
Rafael Dos Anjos was supposed to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammate, Islam Makachev in a lightweight showdown. The UFC veteran was moving down to the lightweight division after a disappointing run at welterweight.
Rafael Dos Anjos has lost most of his fights at the welterweight division. Though he has only lost to the best fighters in the division such as Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, and Leon Edwards his record was starting to look terrible at welterweight.
The fans of RDA were excited to see him back in the lightweight division where he won’t have a huge size disadvantage. However, RDA testing positive for COVID comes as a huge blow to UFC 254 as RDA vs Makachev was one of the anticipated fights of the card.
Rafael Dos Anjos is not the only one who is losing a huge opportunity
This fight was also very crucial for Islam Makachev, who has not tested himself against a tough opponent yet. And Rafael Dos Anjos could have been the perfect opponent for Makachev to show the world how good he is. Unfortunately, that match is off the table now.
Islam Makachev, however, called out Michael Chandler who is on standby for the lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
But, it’s highly unlikely that Chandler will fight Makachev who has not fought anyone in the top 10 yet. The former Bellator champion would rather wait to fight Tony Ferguson if Dustin Poirier ends up fighting Conor McGregor. As far as Islam Makachev is concerned, it’s safe to assume that UFC has already started looking at alternatives.