Next week’s UFC Vegas 49 event was supposed to be headlined by a lightweight fight between top five contenders Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush. It is likely a title eliminator bout to determine who faces the winner between Justin Gaethje and reigning champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 274 in May.
Unfortunately, that’s no longer happening. As reported by Ariel Helwani on Twitter on Wednesday night, Dariush was forced off the bout due to an ankle injury. The UFC has yet to announce whether or not there will be a replacement opponent for Makhachev, or if the matchup will be postponed to a later date.
Next week’s Islam Makhachev vs. Beneil Dariush main event fight is off, sources say.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 17, 2022
Dariush injured his ankle and was forced to withdraw. No word yet on if Makhachev will remain on the card and/or what’s the new Feb. 26 headliner.
Both Makhachev and Dariush have been on a tear over the last few years. The number three-ranked Dariush hasn’t lost since 2018, and four out of his last six wins earned him post-fight bonuses. His biggest win happened at UFC 262 in May when he defeated former interim champion Tony Ferguson via decision.
The number four-ranked Makhachev, meanwhile, has compiled a nine-fight win streak beginning in 2016. His most notable victory happened at UFC 267 last October against Dan Hooker, whom he defeated via first-round submission.