UFC has been on a streak of putting together good fights upon great fights. They have continued the trend with another gem of a fight. No. 3 ranked lightweight contender Beneil Dariush will take on no. 4 ranked Islam Makhachev. The fight will take place on February 26 of 2022. It is most likely to determine who the next contender is for the winner of Charles Oliveira vs Dustin Poirier in December.
Ever since Conor McGregor won the lightweight strap in 2016, the division has been the marquee one for UFC. The rise of Khabib Nurmagodemdov simultaneously and his rivalry with McGregor made the 155 lbs a must-see TV.
However, Conor is out of the lightweight title picture for now and Khabib is retired. The 155 lbs division has the boost of new blood in absence of the aforementioned superstars. Charles Oliveira is the current champion of the division. Fighters such as Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev are at the forefront of the division.
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But that has created a log jam at the top of the division. Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev are all deserving of a title shot next. Justin is fresh off a win against Michael Chandler. Hence, that makes him a clear contender for the title next. But UFC has now thrown a curveball. They have matched up Makhachev and Dariush. The winner might just get the title shot.
Beneil Dariush vs Islam Makhachev: Who win?
Beneil Dariush is a veteran in the fight game. He has 25 fights in his career with a record of 21 wins and 4 losses. With notable wins over James Miller, James Vick and Anthony Martin, Dariush had a fabulous start to his career. But he failed to capitalise on his momentum as he lost a few back-to-back fights against the likes of Edson Barboza and Alexander Hernandez.
Following the loss to Hernandez, he turned a corner in his career and is currently on a 7 fight win streak. It includes noteworthy names such as Drew Dover, Diego Ferreira and Tony Ferguson. Dariush is known for his impeccable ground game. He is a noted practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Dariush is a black belt who has won multiple tournaments in both Gi and No-Gi competitions. If the fight hits the ground, there aren’t very many people who can find a way out against Dariush.
Islam Makhachev on the other hand is a prodigy of Khabib Nurmagodemdov. He is highly touted as the fighter to become the next best thing in the lightweight division. Islam is currently on a 9 fight win streak. He has s record of 21-1. The only loss on his record came against Adriano Martins in his second UFC fight.
Islam is a world sambo champion. Wrestling is his primary bread and butter. He overwhelms opponents with physicality and usually put them in a position where they have no choice other than to submit. But implementing that game plan against a Jiu-jitsu practitioner will not be that easy. However, Dariush is not known for having a good chin, while Islam does possess some power. So it will not be a surprise to see Makhachev finishing Beneil via ground and pound after dropping him with an overhand right.