Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is heading back down to the division for his next fight against Islam Makhachev at UFC 254 on October 24th.
For the past three years RDA has been plying his trade at welterweight, where he started off strongly, winning his first three fights in a row against Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny and Robbie Lawler.
However, since then dos Anjos has struggled, recording just one from his last five fights – a submission win over Kevin Lee.
Admittedly the level of opposition he’s been facing has been very high though, with his losses coming against Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Leon Edwards and Michael Chiesa.
At the peak of his run at lightweight however, RDA had compiled 10 wins in 11 fights at one stage, with his only loss being to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it should be noted that his last two fights in the division were losses against Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson, which had prompted his move up to 170lbs.
As for Makhachev, he’s been marking himself out as a force to be reckoned with at 155lbs during RDA’s absence as he’s currently in the midst of a six-fight winning streak that’s seen him defeat the likes of Davi Ramos, Arman Tsarukyan, Gleison Tibau and Nik Lentz.
That leaves Makhachev at No.11 in the lightweight rankings, but this is without a doubt the biggest fight of his career and a chance to really solidly himself as a major player in the top 10.
RDA vs. Makhachev will join a UFC 254 card that’s set to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.