A huge lightweight bout is on tap to headline an event in February.
Multiple people with knowledge of the booking confirmed to MMA Fighting that a main event matchup between Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev is being targeted for the UFC’s event on Feb. 26, which currently does not have a location or venue officially announced. ESPN was first to report the booking.
Dariush has won seven straight and has quietly put himself into the championship conversation at 155 pounds. The No. 4 ranked fighter in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings picked up a pair of wins over ranked competition in 2021 over Diego Ferreira and former interim champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 262 in what was then the biggest fight of his career.
Makhachev looks to potentially earn a title shot and improve his winning streak to 10. After missing all of 2020, the No. 5 ranked fighter in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings has gone 3-0 in 2021 with a trio of dominant submission wins in fights against Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, and, most recently at October’s UFC 267 event, Dan Hooker.
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin contributed to this story.