Bobby Green will replace Beneil Dariush to take on Islam Makhachev in the new main event of UFC Fight Night on February 26.
Ariel Helwani was the first to report news about Dariush exit from the battle. Dariush cites an ankle injury as the reason for his departure. Hours later ESPN confirmed that Bobby Green will replace Dariusz in what will now be a 160 lb catchweight bout.
Many expected the Feb. 26 headliner between Makhachev and Dariush to be a lightweight title contender to determine who would next challenge champion Charles Oliveira.
Beneil Dariush won seven fights in a row and was considered a very difficult stylistic fight for Makhachev. Dariush has proven that he is more than willing to stand up and hit with decent bonus performances, but what makes this pairing the most intriguing is the fact that Dariush holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is considered one of the best grapplers in the world. UFC. Given Makhachev’s heavy wrestling style, this match was considered a prime example of “something has to give”.
Islam Makhachev is currently enjoying an incredible nine-fight winning streak. A victory here would mean not only a 10th win in a row, but finally that elusive victory over a top 5 opponent that many demanded of him. During this winning streak, Makhachev defeated the likes of Thiago Moises, Drew Dober and most recently Dan Hooker.
Enter Bobby Green. Green is currently unranked, but he just put in two exceptional performances in a row, including a first-round TKO over Al Iaquinta at UFC 268 and then a flashy display at the expense of Nasrat Hasparast last weekend at UFC 271.
Coincidentally, the UFC 271 commentary team lobbied for Bobby Green to get an invite to his first UFC main event. Perhaps the gods of MMA listened to this idea, which received public support before they gave their official approval.
While it’s unclear if Makhachev’s win will be enough for a title shot, it’s certain that Bobby Green’s win here will change his career and give him a strong presence in the lightweight rankings.
Who do you think will win between Islam Makhachev and Bobby Green on February 26?