Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev will settle which of the two deserves to be next in line for a lightweight title shot.
Recently, there has been heavy dispute on who will face the winner of UFC 269‘s lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira (c) and Dustin Poirier. Justin Gaethje and Islam Makhachev have recently been dominating that conversation, but Gaethje reminded Makhachev and the rest of the world that Dariush was still very much in the mix.
In fact, Gaethje flat-out ordered Makhachev to “do his job” and fight Dariush. Now, as reported Saturday by ESPN, we have learned that this battle of the streaks will indeed take place as the headliner of the February 26 Fight Night event.
Beneil Dariush is currently the #3-ranked lightweight currently riding a seven-fight winning streak. The 21-4-1 UFC veteran has defeated the likes of Drew Dober, Carlos Diego Ferreira, and Tony Ferguson during this peak run of the 32-year-old’s career.
Dariush has proven that he is more than willing to stand and bang with bonus-worthy performances, but what makes this pairing most intriguing is the fact that Dariush is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is considered one of the best grapplers in the UFC. He may have to put all those skills to use when taking on Dagestani destroyer Islam Makhachev.
Islam Makhachev is currently enjoying an incredible nine-fight winning streak. A win here would not only make for a 10th straight victory but would finally include that elusive win over a top-5 opponent that many have demanded of him. During this winning streak, Makhachev has defeated names like Thiago Moisés, Drew Dober, and most recently Dan Hooker.
With this bout official, that could only mean that Justin Gaethje will be waiting in the wings to face the winner of Poirier/Oliveira. The manager of Gaethje, Makhachev, and Dariush said as much earlier this week when he also hinted of this Makhachev/Dariush bout being around the corner.
Who do you have taking this lightweight title eliminator? Beneil Dariush or Islam Makhachev?