MMA Fighting confirmed with sources that Magomedsharipov (16-1) and Stephens (28-15) are in talks to face one another in a featherweight bout at UFC 235 on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, following an initial report by ESPN.
In four UFC appearances, Magomedsharipov has gone 4-0 to extend his overall win streak to 12 straight. Three of those UFC wins have come by way of submission, including a rare Suloev Stretch kneebar submission of Brandon Davis in his last outing at UFC 228 in September.
Stephens is coming off of a busy 2018 in which he recorded back-to-back knockout wins over Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett before losing via first-round TKO to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo in July. He has won three of his last four fights and is 15-14 inside the Octagon. When he makes his next walk to the cage, Stephens will join Jim Miller as one of only two fighters with at least 30 UFC appearances.
“Lil Heathen” took to Instagram on Monday to express his enthusiasm for the matchup.