As if UFC's International Fight Week in July wasn't big enough, the company just added another major Championship fight, this one to their Thursday evening Fight Pass show.
UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos will defend his title against former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez just two days before RDA's foe Conor McGregor competes at UFC 200. Dos Anjos had to pull out of a planned UFC 196 bout against McGregor with a broken foot.
This fight is a long time coming for Eddie Alvarez, who was once in career limbo due to the nature of his Bellator MMA contract. Alvarez missed over a year of action sitting out his contract before finally returning in 2013, defeating Michael Chandler for the Bellator Lightweight Championship. After going 2-1 in the UFC, Alvarez has earned a title bout.
The move looks to be a dangerous one for dos Anjos, who missed out on the biggest payday of his life in pulling out of the McGregor fight. Alvarez is still a dangerous opponent for any fighter, with wins over Anthony Pettis, Shinya Aoki, Gilbert Melendez, Michael Chandler, and Tetsuya Kawajiri.
The UFC has loaded that week, possibly expecting a couple of fights to fall out. The Lightweight, Interim Featherweight, Women's Bantamweight and Women's Strawweight titles are all on the line over the course of three days. Additionally, the Featherweight champion McGregor is competing in a non title bout. This comes one month after the Middleweight and Bantamweight championships will be defended.
Many questioned why Khabib Nurmagomedov, who returns this weekend against Darrell Horcher, wasn't factored into the equation. Nurmagomedov has turned down fights the week of UFC 200 due to the holy month of Ramadan.