A pivotal bout to the UFC lightweight division’s title picture is in the works between Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush.
The bout is confirmed to be a 5-round main event headliner set for Feb. 26. Dominance CEO Ali Abdelaziz manages both fighters and the bout announcement was first made official by Brett Okamoto at ESPN. A battle of two streaking lightweights: Beneil Dariush will put his 7-fight winning streak up for grabs when he meets Islam Makhachev who is riding a 9-fight winning streak.
“Someone’s winning streak will be snapped as Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev headline a UFC Fight Night on Feb. 26, multiple sources confirmed to @bokamotoESPN. Both lightweights have agreed and the promotion has not yet announced a location for the event.” ESPN shared on social media.
Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush On The Cusp Of Gold
Islam Makhachev returns to action after quickly dispatching Dan Hooker with a kimura on Oct. 30. While Dariush hasn’t fought since May, his winning streak is arguably the strongest amongst the field of 155-pound fighters. After earning a unanimous decision win against Tony Ferguson, many figured he was closing in on UFC gold. On the other side of the coin is Makhachev who many have already called for him to get a title shot after his quick victory back in Oct.
As it stands, Dariush stands as the #3-ranked lightweight, with Makhachev holding the distinction of the #4-ranked lightweight, so the fight very well could result in the emergence of an undeniable contender. With lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier fighting in Dec., there is certainly a lot riding on this high-stakes lightweight contest.
Dariush has amassed an outstanding winning streak in the lightweight division. Aside from his decision victory against “El Cucuy”, Dariush has notable wins over Thiago Moises, Scott Holtzman — by spinning backfist KO, and a razor-close but impressive victory against Diego Ferreira.
Makhachev has been criticized for his lack of wins against ranked opponents. However, following his performance against Hooker, it was hard to make a case that he isn’t a legitimate 155-pound contender. After all, he is also riding a monstrous winning streak, two more than Dariush, sitting at nine in a row. It’s one thing to defeat and submit Hooker. It’s another thing to succeed emphatically in front of an echoing arena of fans at New York’s Madison Square Garden venue.
The fight will no doubt give way to a new contender in the UFC lightweight division. Given what is on the line for each of these lightweight contenders, the fight is a must-see as we inch closer into a new year.
Do you think Islam Makhachev will defeat Beneil Dariush in their Feb match-up?