Getty Images

Islam Makhachev and Bobby Green are set for five rounds of chaos with title implications at UFC Fight Night on Saturday night. Makhachev is on a campaign for a UFC title shot, while Green steps in on short notice to throw a wrench into those plans at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Makhachev (21-1) is determined to stamp out any doubts that he is next in line for a UFC lightweight championship. A scheduled matchup with Beneil Dariush was seen by many as a title eliminator. Dariush was forced out of the fight with an injury and now the optics are different. A victory by any means may not be enough to absolutely secure Makhachev a title shot against the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje. Makhachev must exert his will unto Green, a short-notice replacement known mostly for his boxing. Makhachev, a dominant grappler, enters on a nine-fight streak with five finishes.

"Of course, because it's going to be my 10-fight win streak, and I really believe this is key for the title fight," Makhachev told reporters at Wednesday's media day. "I think Oliveira is going to beat Justin Gaethje, and [it will be] 11 winning streak vs. 10 win streak. This is going to be a big fight for all my fans.

"I have to finish Bobby Green, first round, and I will do it."

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a complete preview of UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas on Saturday night below.

Green (29-12-1) has the opportunity to pen a great twist in the history of MMA. He is a major underdog heading into Saturday night. Green took the fight on two weeks' notice after a three-round fight on Feb. 12 at UFC 271 against a completely different style of opponent and prefers to stand and trade than win the fight no matter the method. A classic modern day matchup of striker vs. grappler, Green has his hands full with Makhachev.

"With Islam, he does what he does, but to be honest, it's kind of boring," Green said at the pre-fight presser. "Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares. I fall asleep watching his fights, then it's, 'Oh, there's the finish.' They can show a bunch of finishes, which is cool, but it was [sleepy] and boring and it was lackluster.

"So that's the real test, making somebody boring, exciting. How can I do that? Can I do that? Can I pull that one out of my ass? I think I can do it... It's gonna be fun. That's all I want to do is make sure it's fun."

Here's the fight card for UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Green with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night card, odds


Islam Makhachev -900

Bobby Green +600


Misha Cirkunov -120

Wellington Turman +100


Ji Yeon Kim -170

Priscila Cachoeira

Women's flyweight

Arman Tsarukyan -220

Joel Alvarez +180


 Gregory Rodrigues -155
Armen Petrosyan +135

UFC Fight Night viewing information

Date: Feb. 26 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex -- Las Vegas, Nevada
TV/Stream: ESPN+


Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green: This is a worst-case scenario for Green in terms of style matchups. Kudos to him for taking the fight on short notice, but I doubt Green could top Makhachev even with a full training camp. Green, by his own admission, is more attracted to putting on exciting fights than capturing championships. Combat sports needs fighters like Green, but that guiding principle often does not align with what's required to compete at the sport's absolute highest level. Makhachev's offensive grappling is a difficult puzzle to solve. A boxing-focused fighter more concerned with entertaining than winning by any means necessary is not the answer to Makhachev's riddle. Makhachev has insisted that a first-round finish is necessary. Considering the short-notice pairing, I expect Makhachev to take some extra time and get a read on Green's timing. Pick: Makahchev via SUB2