Islam Makhachev OUT of this weekend's UFC main event against former champion Rafael dos Anjos
This marks the second time that a fight between the two 155-pound standouts has been canceled after an initial meeting slated for "Fight Island" was called off after dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19.Also on rt.com Khabib says UFC new boy Michael Chandler is 'number one contender' – if he beats teammate Islam Makhachev
The UFC has yet to officially confirm the news following an initial report by ESPN, who initially cited several sources close to the situation.
Makhachev has since confirmed the news via his Instagram page, revealing that he contracted a staph infection that has forced him off the card.
The organization is also understood to have made moves to locate a short notice opponent for dos Anjos for this coming Saturday's fight card which will take place in the UFC's Apex facility in Las Vegas - with dos Anjos identifying UFC newcomer, and former Bellator champion, Michael Chandler as his preferred option.
"I wish @MAKHACHEVMMA a speed (sic) recovery," Dos Anjos wrote on Twitter.
"Looking for a new partner to dance. Looks like @MikeChandlerMMA is ready to go. Your move!"
Somewhat coincidentally, Makhachev also issued a challenge to Chandler on "Fight Island" a month ago after the Brazilian's coronavirus diagnosis ruled him out of their fight but the potential fight did not come to fruition.Also on rt.com 'Here's your chance to jump on the island!': Islam Makhachev CALLS OUT UFC newcomer Michael Chandler as Dos Anjos bows out
Former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos, meanwhile, is due to return to lightweight after an eight-fight stint at welterweight that saw him take on some of the division's standout fighters such as Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington and Leon Edwards.
The collapse of this weekend's UFC main event will be a blow to Makhachev, who has been identified by the recently-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov as his successor in the 155-pound division.