‘Covid-19 caught me big time’: Rafael dos Anjos reveals he will not take part in UFC 254 after testing positive for coronavirus with just over two weeks to go until Abu Dhabi showdown
- Rafael Dos Anjos was due to fight Islam Makhachev on October 24 in Abu Dhabi
- Their bout was set to be the Brazilian’s first lightweight fight for four years
- Dos Anjos has now been pulled from the fight after testing positive for Covid-19
- UFC 254 is set to be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje
The Brazilian was due to fight Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi on October 24 for his lightweight return.
But the 35-year-old former champion – who has won just one of his last five welterweight fights – has now revealed he has tested positive for Covid-19 and has therefore been pulled from the bout against the Russian.
Rafael Dos Anjos will not be able to compete in UFC 254 after testing positive for coronavirus
The 35-year-old Brazilian confirmed his positive Covid-19 test with a post on social media
Dos Anjos wrote: ‘I came to rescue my dream of becoming a champion again, and that goal was achieved.
‘Sharing my experiences with the Nova Uniao Team and learning many details to improve my game and close the gaps in the future, none of this was in vain.
‘Unfortunately, I will not be able to compete on the 24th. Covid19 caught me big time and the doctors cut me out.
Dos Anjos was due to fight Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi for his lightweight return this month
Dos Anjos was set to drop back down the 155lb, which is where he lost the belt in 2016
‘But soon I will be back victorious inside the octagon!’
Dos Anjos was set to drop back down the 155lb – where he lost the belt in 2016 – for the first time in four years.
The showdown in Abu Dhabi later this month is headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov, 32, and Justin Gaethje, 31, who fight in a lightweight unification.
The showdown in Abu Dhabi is headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) and Justin Gaethje
American Michael Chandler will provide back up for the title bout, but Makhachev, 29, has called on the 34-year-old to replace Dos Santos, while the Russian’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has also offered Tony Ferguson the chance to step in on short notice.
‘RDA is out, yo @MikeChandlerMMA here’s your chance to jump on the Island,’ Makhachev tweeted, before Abdelaziz said: ‘What’s up Tony ? The closest thing to @TeamKhabib is @MAKHACHEVMMA.
‘Now RDA is out Would you like to take this fight? Thank you sir @TonyFergusonXT.’