UFC Lightweight Rafael dos Anjos Sidelined 3 Months After Sports Hernia Surgery

By: Marcelo Alonso
Mar 15, 2021


After 11 months of suffering due to an acute pain in the pubis (pelvic) area without having an accurate diagnosis from four different doctors in the United States, Rafael dos Anjos decided to come to Brazil to consult Dr. Rickson Moraes. 

An othropedic shoulder specialist who treats UFC fighters such as Jose Aldo and Ronaldo Souza, Moraes conducted a series of exams with colleagues Reinaldo Fernandes and Lourenco Peixoto, both of whom are hip specialists. In a interview with Brazilian Youtube channel OSS conducted by journalist Mario Filho, Dr. Moraes explained why dos Anjos elected to have surgery.

"RDA was feeling that acute pain for last 11 months. But the scenario got worse five months ago, three months before the fight with [Paul] Felder, when he was running stairs. He was able to fight but the pain worsened, and after a series of exams in U.S., he came to me in Brazil and I referred him to these two specialists who work with me,” Moraes said.

After a couple of exams indicated that he was suffering from athletic pubalgia, dos Anjos decided to have the surgery last week. Athletic pubalgia is more commonly known as a sports hernia, which is characterized by chronic lower abdominal and groin pain and is caused by a tear of any soft tissue in that area. The injury can be caused by repetitive movements, twisting the body and sudden changes in direction.

“Drs. Fernandes and Peixoto did a great job and are pretty optimistic that RDA will be able return in three months depending on his recovery and physiotheraphy,” Moraes said.

The procedure likely nixes the possibility of having the Brazilian face Islam Makhachev in his UFC return. The lightweights were supposed to fight on Nov. 14, but Makhachev had to withdraw from the bout and was replaced by Felder.  After besting Felder, dos Anjos declared that he would prefer to face someone more highly ranked than Makhachev. However, dos Anjos was not happy with the praise Makhachev received leading up to his win over Drew Dober at UFC 259, and agreed to face the Dagestani wrestler if a win would get him a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

With dos Anjos out until at least July due to the surgery, it’s unclear if a matchup with Makhachev will come to fruition in the future.


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