The UFC has booked a massive lightweight main event that has big title implications. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this morning that the promotion has finalized a main event between Islam Makhachev (21-1) and Beneil Dariush (21-4-1).
The lightweight showdown will headline a UFC Fight Night on February 26th. Dariush is going to be looking to pick up his eighth straight win when these two meet in February. The last time we saw Dariush was back in May at UFC 265.
Dariush was in the co-main event and took on former interim champion Tony Ferguson. He completed dominated Ferguson on his way to winning a unanimous decision. That win put Dariush third in the UFC lightweight rankings.
While he wanted a title shot, it wasn’t in the cards and the promotion has been looking for a fight for him for months. Well, the perfect fight materialized and whoever wins will not be able to be denied a title shot.
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We just saw Islam Makhachev back at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi when he took on Dan Hooker. Makhachev was able to get Hooker to the ground early in the first fight and everything was over after that. Makhachev got to a dominant position and submitted Hooker.
This was the ninth straight win for Makhachev since suffering his first career defeat. Many in the UFC believe that Makhachev deserves a title shot, however, after Justin Gaethje’s win over Michael Chandler, it’s apparent that he will get the next shot.
With that, Makhachev was forced to take another fight. This is going to be a very stiff test for Makhachev who will be taking on an elite grappler in Dariush. For the first time in his UFC career, we are going to see how Makhachev does against someone who is just as good on the mat. This is a fantastic fight and should provide a new number one contender.