UFC

Source: Dos Anjos vs. Khabilov verbally agreed for UFC 170

 Rafael dos Anjos and Rustam Khabilov
Verbal agreements are in place for the lightweight showdown.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.

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A lightweight battle pitting No. 6-ranked fighter Rafael Dos Anjos against rising Russian star Rustam Khabilov is expected to go down on Feb. 22 at UFC 170 in Las Vegas.

The fighters have verbally agreed to the matchup according to sources close to the situation speaking to FOX Sports on Monday, although at this stage bout agreements have not been issued by the UFC. The rumored fight was first reported by Russian site MMABoxing.ru.

A winner of five fights in a row, Rafael Dos Anjos has gone from middle of the road lightweight to a top ten fighter over the last year and a half. Most recently he soundly defeated Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone to cement his spot in the rankings as he starts looking toward title contention in the next year.

Hoping to steal his thunder is Russian import Rustam Khabilov, who accepts the bout on a six fight win streak overall and a perfect 3-0 in the UFC. Khabilov put on an exciting performance in his last fight, beating tough as nails lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal in a Fight Of The Night performance.

Now it appears Khabilov will get the chance to take a major step forward in the division facing a fighter the caliber of Dos Anjos.

As of now, UFC officials haven't confirmed the bout between Khabilov and Dos Anjos, but the fight is the first rumored matchup for the upcoming UFC 170 card taking place on Feb 22. Originally, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was set to defend his title against Glover Teixeira on the card, but lingering injuries forced the fight to be delayed until a different date.

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