The long-awaited announcement of who surging lightweight star Islam Makhachev would be matched up with is finally out, as he faces Beneil Dariush in a top-five matchup in the main event of a February card.
Islam Makhachev Has Found a Dance Partner in Beneil Dariush
The Khabib Nurmagomedov protege has finally found a dance partner in all-world grappler and surging lightweight in his own right: Beneil Dariush. The matchup was first announced by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Twitter earlier today.
Ohhhh yes. Beneil Dariush (@beneildariush) vs. Islam Makhachev (@MAKHACHEVMMA). Seven fight win streak vs. Nine fight win streak. Five-round main event, UFC Fight Night on Feb. 27, per sources. Big one. pic.twitter.com/xETKmx8l27
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 27, 2021
Makhachev will enter the bout on a nine-fight winning streak and Dariush a seven-fight winning streak. Taking a closer look at those wins, only six fights between their combined 16 wins in this span have gone to the judges’ scorecards. Both men know they do not get paid by the hour and by knowing that, fans have seen a ton of finishes between the two, including three straight Makhachev.
Dariush is an all-world grappler with three world titles in no-gi competition, but it is his refined standup that has seen him take the next step in his MMA career. He has as many knockouts as he does submissions, two apiece, during his seven-fight win streak. He is going to need all the tools in the shed for this matchup against Makhachev, but of anyone in the top five, it is probably Dariush who has the tools to make this a very entertaining fight.
For Makhachev, he will be looking to capitalize on a tidal wave of momentum that he has been riding since sending Dan Hooker to featherweight after UFC 267. With a win over Dariush, it is almost certain that a title shot will be next for the Dagestani. The same can be said for Dariush as well.
The only question unanswered is this: will they need all five rounds on February 27th?
Embed from Getty Images