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Rafael dos Anjos to defend title against Eddie Alvarez on UFC Fight Pass

Wander Roberto, Inovafoto

Rafael dos Anjos won't defend his UFC lightweight title at UFC 200 as he originally hoped, but he will put his strap on the line just days earlier.

The UFC announced Friday via Twitter that the 155-pound champ dos Anjos will face top contender Eddie Alvarez July 7 at a UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas. The card will stream live via UFC Fight Pass, marking the first time a men's UFC title fight has been showcased via the online service.

This Thursday night event – which takes place just two days before UFC 200 – will kick off a three-day stretch of UFC events in Las Vegas, each of which hosts at least one title fight.

Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez begins the fun Thursday on UFC Fight Pass, then women's strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk will take on Claudia Gadelha Friday during The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale.

This all leads to Saturday's UFC 200 fight card, a long-anticipated lineup featuring a rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor at the top. This fight is supported by a women's bantamweight title fight between champ Miesha Tate and challenger Amanda Nunes and an interim featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.

The Thursday evening bout with Alvarez will mark dos Anjos' second attempt at defending his 155-pound title. After winning the belt from Anthony Pettis at UFC 185, dos Anjos took out Donald Cerrone in his first title defense in under one round, securing a quick TKO at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015. He has won five straight inside the Octagon, three coming via knockout.

Alvarez, meanwhile, comes into the title fight riding back-to-back wins over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis, each via split-decision.

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