Well, the UFC 272 fight week is not off to a great start. As promotional efforts got underway for this week’s PPV event, Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13) was appearing on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour to preview his upcoming matchup against Rafael Fiziev (11-1).
Originally, these two men were supposed to headline UFC Vegas 48. However, due to visa issues, Fiziev wasn’t able to get into the United States for the fight. The UFC decided to push the fight back to this weekend’s co-main event and keep the fight five-rounds.
However, that fight is not going to happen. While on-air, Ariel Helwani broke the news to Rafael Dos Anjos himself that Rafael Fiziev is out of the UFC 272 co-main event. Fiziev flew to the United States on Thursday to get acclimated and ended up falling ill. Turns out that Fiziev tested positive for Covid over the weekend.
With the positive test, the UFC 272 co-main event is off and the former lightweight champion is left without a fight. Now, at this time it’s not clear on whether or not the promotion will try to keep RDA on the card. However, there are some options if they go that route.
UFC backup options
One of the options that’s already been floated out there is a potential fight with Kevin Holland. Holland is making his welterweight debut at UFC 272 against Alex Oliveira. If this fight were to come together, it would of course be at 170 pounds so RDA wouldn’t have to cut weight.
Another option the UFC could explore is having Islam Makhachev take the fight against RDA. Now, this is not very likely in my opinion. Makhachev just headlined this past weekend’s Fight Night where he stopped Bobby Green in the first round. It was an easy night at the office where Makhachev took no damage.
However, given the way his career has been managed, I find it hard to believe that they would take this short-notice fight at UFC 272. There’s history between RDA and Makhachev as they were supposed to fight a number of times. However, it always fell through.
At this time, there’s no real word on what the UFC will do, but this story is developing.