Islam Makhachev vs Rafael dos Anjos was supposed to be one of the many exciting fights on the UFC 254 main card. However, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown yet another wrench in the UFC’s plans. Though the UFC has organized multiple events successfully during a pandemic, it has also faced challenges in doing so.
One of the key challenges is fighters testing positive for COVID-19 and being withdrawn. This has forced the UFC to book several last-minute fights. It has happened multiple times since the UFC started putting on shows in May this year. Rafael dos Anjos is the latest fighter to be added to the lengthy list of fighters who had to pull out for testing positive.
As former lightweight Rafael dos Anjos withdrew, the UFC wanted Islam Makhachev to stay on the card. However, the company could not arrange an opponent at short notice despite trying their best to do so.
Makhachev too tried his best to secure a fight. He took to social media to call out the likes of Michael Chandler, as he hoped to secure a fight on the card. However, none of these fights materialized, and it’s now confirmed that the 29-year-old will not be fighting at UFC 254.
The Russian fighter last fought at UFC 242 when he outpointed Davi Ramos for a unanimous decision win. The American Kickboxing Academy product has been in the UFC since 2015 and has fought eight times in the promotion. He has a 7-1 record and is riding a six-fight win streak. His only loss in the UFC was against Adriano Martins five years ago.
The setback means that the UFC 254 card will have a standard sized five-fight main card. What do you make of Islam not being able to secure a fight? Should Makhachev accept the first fight that comes his way for a quick turnaround? Or should he wait for Dos Anjos to heal up and then face him?
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