Despite his involvement in the melee at UFC 229, Islam Makhachev lives to fight another day, as he’s been booked against Francisco Trinaldo at UFC 233 in January.
On Tuesday, the UFC revealed the booking of something of a surprise lightweight fight at UFC 233. Despite facing the prospect of being banished from the promotion, Islam Makhachev has been lined up against 13th ranked Francisco Trinaldo at the January event. The move comes just a month after Makhachev was involved in the well-publicized brawl at UFC 229. The melee was sparked by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov flying into the crowd to attack Dillon Danis, a teammate of Conor McGregor, who Nurmagomedov had just defeated.
Following the commotion, UFC President Dana White had stated those involved would never fight for the UFC again. However, unlike Zubaira Tukhugov, who was pulled from UFC Moncton after video of him bragging about attacking McGregor post-fight surfaced, Makhachev has kept a low profile. He has not been formally named thus far in any investigation into the incident.
Champ Nurmagomedov had threatened to quit the UFC were Tukhugov to be cut, and one would assume that threat might extend to Makhachev as well.
The booking is good news for the Dagestani fighter, who has won four straight in the UFC. Most recently, Makhachev (16-1) submitted Kajan Johnson at UFC Calgary in July.
His opponent, Francisco Trinaldo (23-6), will enter the night off a second round knockout of Evan Dunham at UFC Sao Paulo in September. Trinaldo has been trading wins and losses of late, and will look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since 2016.
UFC 233 takes place January 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. No main event has been officially announced for the card.