The UFC professed they were going all-in with UFC Fight Pass starting this year, and the planet’s premier MMA promotion wasn’t kidding. On Friday, it was announced lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (pictured) will defend his title against Eddie Alvarez July 7 on the UFC’s online streaming network.
Dos Anjos was slated to defend his throne against Conor McGregor at UFC 196, but the Brazilian suffered a broken foot at the 11th hour and was forced to withdraw from last month’s showdown. He has won 10 of his last 11 bouts, including five straight. Dos Anjos’ lone blemish during his current run came against unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Dos Anjos captured the belt by dominating Anthony Pettis two fights ago at UFC 185.
This means both of Dos Anjos’ title defenses will appear on non-UFC pay-per-view cards. He beat Donald Cerrone in his first title defense on FOX.
Alvarez, the former Bellator MMA lightweight champ, has rebounded nicely after dropping his UFC debut to Cerrone. Alvarez secured his top contender spot with January’s split decision win over Pettis.
He beat Gilbert Melendez before that, which was also in split decision fashion.
The UFC has made a conscious decision to have bigger scraps headline their UFC Fight Pass cards. Former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva kicked off their efforts in February when he battled Michael Bisping on the online network.
UFC Fight Pass, which customarily streams the first few preliminary fights on every UFC card, costs $9.99/month.
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts the festivities.
No other bouts have been confirmed for the lineup.