UFC: Islam Makhachev vs Beneil Dariush to Headline February 26 Event

UFC Vegas 18 Beneil Dariush
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Beneil Dariush of Iran kicks Diego Ferreira of Brazil in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

A high stakes lightweight bout is on deck for February 26 as Islam Makhachev vs. Beneil Dariush is scheduled to be the main event of a UFC Fight Night.

A lightweight bout with major title implications has been scheduled, as Islam Makhachev vs. Beneil Dariush is scheduled to be the main event of a UFC Fight Night on February 26.  ESPN was first to report the news.  No location for the event has been announced.

Beneil Dariush (21-4-1) is riding an impressive seven fight win-streak that has seen him best the likes of former interim champion Tony Ferguson, Carlos Diego Ferreira, Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, and others to become one of the top lightweight contenders in the world.  A veteran of the UFC since 2014, the run is seen as an impressive resurgence after he went on a 0-2-1 skid in 2017 that halted his climb up the ranks.  Dariush last fought in May where he picked up his biggest career victory in defeating Ferguson.

Islam Makhachev (21-1) is on an astounding nine fight win-streak that is tied with lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, and the mark is amongst the best that any fighter on the entire UFC roster currently has going.  Makhachev also has victories over Dober and Moises to go along with wins over veterans such as current PFL standouts Chris Wade and Gleison Tibau.  Most recently, Makhachev recorded the biggest victory of his career as well with a first round submission of perennial contender Dan Hooker last month.

The bout is expected to essentially be a title eliminator as the championship will be on the line in two weeks as Oliveira faces Dustin Poirier.  The winner of the fight is expected to face top contender Justin Gaethje sometime within the first half of 2022, with the Dariush vs. Makhachev winner likely to be the backup for that fight before facing the winner in the latter part of the year.