A big lightweight showdown is set to headline UFC Fight Night on Feb. 27 when Beneil Dariush battles Islam Makhachev. The fight could determine a future title contender as both men will enter the fight on lengthy winning streaks. The fight was first reported by ESPN.
Dariush will enter the fight riding a seven-fight winning streak, his last defeat coming in March 2018. During his impressive recent run, Dariush has scored two wins by knockout and two by submission. His most recent outing saw Dariush score the biggest win of his career, winning a dominant decision over Tony Ferguson.
Makhachev has been even more impressive, rattling off nine consecutive victories. Makhachev got caught by Adriano Martins in October 2015, suffering a knockout loss in just his second trip to the UFC Octagon. He has been perfect since, finishing five of nine opponents on his recent run and dominating fight after fight. Makhachev currently holds the UFC record for the least amount of significant strikes absorbed per minute at 0.79.
Like Dariush, Makhachev scored the biggest win of his career in his most recent outing, dominating Dan Hooker before finishing the fight with a kimura in the middle of Round 1.
The lightweight division is one of the deepest weight classes in the UFC. Dustin Poirier is set to clash with champion Charles Oliveira for the title at UFC 269 on Dec. 11. Former interim champion Justin Gaethje recently scored a dramatic win over Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor has also attempted to claim that he will fight for the title when he returns from his leg injury.
Even with all the competition, it will be hard to deny that the winner of Dariush vs. Makhachev will be one of the men most deserving of a shot at the winner of Oliveira vs. Poirier.