Khabib Nurmagomedov was pushing for Islam Makhachev to receive a title shot following his submission victory over Dan Hooker at UFC 267.
Despite the former champions campaign efforts, it was announced today that Makhachev (21-1 MMA) has been booked to fight fellow lightweight contender Beneil Dariush (21-4-1 MMA) in February.
While many fans assumed that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be upset with the booking, ‘The Eagle’ instead dubbed the newly announced matchup as a fight between the two best lightweights in the world.
“2 best lightweights in the world.” – Nurmagomedov captioned a photo of Makhachev vs Dariush on Instagram.
Ali Abdelaziz, who manages both Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush, claims the winner of February’s contest will be awarded a title shot at 155lbs.
“I don’t like it when two guys who I really love have to fight, but these two have worked their whole lives to become a champion and this is a No. 1 contender match,” Abdelaziz told ESPN MMA. “Whoever wins this fight will fight for the title, so who am I to tell them not to fight? They’re at the top and I wish both guys the best of luck.”
Islam Makhachev (21-1 MMA) will enter the contest sporting a nine-fight winning streak. In his most recent effort at last month’s UFC 267 event, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protege scored a first round submission win over Dan Hooker.
Meanwhile, Beneil Dariush (21-4-1 MMA) is currently boasting a seven-fight win streak, his latest being a dominant decision win over Tony Ferguson back in May.
With the news of the Makhachev vs Dariush booking, it appears likely that Justin Gaethje will now fight the winner of next month’s Dustin Poirier vs Charles Oliveira title fight.
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