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Rafael Alves moves up to lightweight after big weight miss, fights Damir Ismagulov at UFC 262

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Rafael Alves (center) makes his UFC debut three months after a disappointing weight miss in Las Vegas.
Chris Unger, Zuffa LLC

Rafael Alves is done with the featherweight division, and his first 155-pound 9appointment in the UFC is set for May 15, when me faces Damir Ismagulov at FUC 262 in Houston, TX, sources told MMA Fighting following a report from Ag. Fight.

Alves (19-9) was set to make his UFC debut against Pat Sabatini in February, but came in at 157,5 pounds, a record 11,5-pound overweight after experiencing food poisoning.

The former Titan FC lightweight champion signed with the UFC after stopping Alejandro Flores at Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2020, and said he was already planning on moving up to 155 pounds after that fight under the advice of teammate Colby Covington.

Ismagulov (19-1) fought three times so far under the UFC banner, capped off by a decision over surging lightweight Thiago Moises in August 2019. The former M-1 champion looks to extend his winning streak to 15 in his return from nearly two years away from the cage.

UFC 262 will go down at the Toyota Center un Houston and feature the coronation of a new lightweight champion as Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler battle for the vacant belt.