The UFC Vegas 49 main event on Saturday had moved from a bonafide title eliminator, to an arguably more interesting story of opportunity and seizing the moment, thanks to the withdrawal of Beneil Dariush from his fight with Islam Makhachev.
With no other top ten opponent willing to step in against the Dagestani, it was lightweight Bobby Green stepping in, just two weeks removed from a win over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271.
For Green, it was a huge opportunity, as well as a clash of styles, all coming in his very first UFC main event, after years spent on the biggest of stages dating right back to his Strikeforce days. Should Green emerge victorious, it would no doubt be one of the biggest upsets in years — but Makhachev’s stifling wrestling absolutely could not be overlooked.
With a win, Makhachev still appeared to have a date with the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje later this year — as for Green, whether he could steal that spot remained to be seen. But a win over Makhachev would certainly put him among the division’s elite.
Following UFC Vegas 49, tune in for the post-fight press conference. A live stream of the proceedings can be found above.