UFC News: Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez and Rafael dos Anjos vs Islam Makhachev booked

The Underground
Credit: USA TODAY Sports

A pair of pivotal bouts in the top-10 of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s featherweight and lightweight divisions are on tap for the promotion’s fall schedule.

Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez booked for November 13

First up in this double-header of big bookings is a planned matchup pitting former featherweight king Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez.

The news was first reported by TSN reporter Aaron Bronsteter on Twitter [h/t MMAJunkie]. His source was none other than UFC President Dana White who relayed the information that the organization is hoping to rebook the bout to be the headliner of a planned Fight Night event on November 13. A venue and location have yet to be selected for that date.

The two top-five 145-pounders were originally set to face-off in the main event of UFC Vegas 31 on July 17. However, that booking was canceled when “Blessed” was unable to make the date due to an undisclosed injury.

Holloway (22-6) last competed in January in a historically one-sided drubbing of fifth-ranked fighter Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision. Before that, the 29-year-old lost his title, and a rematch, in back-to-back fights against current division king Alexander Volkanovski.

Rodriguez (13-2) is on a two-fight win streak, however, he has not stepped inside the Octagon since a unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens in October 2019. Along with the postponed booking with Holloway, the 28-year-old also saw a July 2020 matchup with Zabit Magomedsharipov fall apart before the bout date as well.

Rafael dos Anjos vs Islam Makhachev scheduled for UFC 267 in October

Following his UFC Vegas 31 main event win over Thiago Moises last month, Islam Makhachev called for a fight with former division champion Rafael dos Anjos. The surging Dagestani talent is getting his wish in October.

MMAFighting was first to confirm the news that a booking between two has been finalized for UFC 267 on October 30 in Abu Dhabi.

Makhachev and dos Anjos were previously booked on two separate occasions to fight last fall, however, each tested positive for COVID-19 before the fights and forced them to seek out different plans for the rest of the year. Now, the fight that both men wanted has been granted.

Fifth-ranked Makhachev (20-1) is currently on an eight-fight win streak after suffering his lone defeat in 2015 against Adriano Martins. The 29-year-old is 9-1 inside the Octagon.

max holloway vs yair rodriguez
Jul 20, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Leon Edwards (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at AT&T Center. Edwards won by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Former lightweight champion dos Anjos (30-13) returned to the 155-pound weight class in November with a victory over now-retired and formerly ranked fighter Paul Felder. The Brazilian had a 4-4 run at welterweight before his 2020 return to his championship home.

UFC 267 will take place at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on October 30. The main card will air exclusively on ESPN+ with a pay-per-view price tag of US $69.99.

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