Verbal agreements are in place for a showdown of lightweight standouts Alexander Hernandez and Islam Makhachev at UFC 249.
MMA Fighting confirmed that contracts are expected to be signed shortly for the April 18 fight after a report from MMA Junkie. Twelve bouts are now on tap for the pay-per-view event at Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hernandez is seven months removed from a decision win over Francisco Trinaldo that put him back in the win column after a TKO loss to Donald Cerrone, who had the last laugh after a trash-talk filled promotional cycle.
Prior to that pivotal fight, Makhachev came across Hernandez’s radar when he replaced the Russian-born fighter, who was forced to withdraw from a scheduled fight with Trinaldo at UFC 233. The fight was scrapped when Hernandez received the call to fight Cerrone, and the bout with Trinaldo was rescheduled for July 2019.
Makhachev’s most recent octagon appearance came this past September, when he outpointed surging lightweight Davi Ramos. The win upped his current winning streak to six fights.
UFC 249 is headlined by a long-awaited showdown between Makhachev’s teammate, lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, and ex-interim champ Tony Ferguson.