Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month, which may jeopardize his Islam Makhachev fight at the upcoming UFC 267 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Oct. 30 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
A final decision has yet to me made.
“I’m already walking without crutches, in 10 days I need to be able to sparring,” Dos Anjos told Sherdog.com. “I’m a fighter; I always want to fight. We already told the UFC what happened. By the way, the UFC was great at paying for all my surgery expenses. But of course I can’t decide alone. I have to hear from my trainer, my doctor and physiotherapist. We must take the final decision in one week.”
Not surprisingly, his opponent was less than kind with his assessment.
“I don’t believe that you’re injured,” Makhachev wrote on Twitter, followed by the hashtag “chicken fever.”
“Do you really think I would fake a surgery? Coming out of another terrible injury,” Dos Anjos tweeted back. “Unlike you I have a family that depends on me and I don’t have another man paying my bills.”
Makhachev (20-1) has captured eight straight wins in the lightweight division, which includes his submission victory over Thiago Moises last July in Las Vegas. The performance pushed the Dagestani bruiser — the protege of former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — to No. 5 in the 155-pound rankings.
That’s two spots above the 30-13 Dos Anjos (No. 7), who is also coming off a victory his last time out. The 36 year-old Brazilian captured a split-decision win over Paul Felder in “Sin City” but has struggled to stay consistent, putting together a 5-5 record since coughing up his lightweight title to Eddie Alvarez in summer 2016.
Hopefully Dos Anjos can recover in time to keep his Makhachev fight intact.