Bobby Green steps in to main event vs. Islam Makhachev

For the second straight week, the UFC has been forced to scratch a key lightweight main event.

However, it didn’t take long to get a backup plan together.

Beneil Dariush has suffered an injury that will prevent him from facing Islam Makhachev in the UFC Fight Night 202 headliner on Feb. 26. The event is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and stream on ESPN+.

As a result, Bobby Green has agreed to step in as the replacement for Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) against Makhachev (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC). The fight, which takes place at a 160-pound catchweight, will come just two weeks after Green (29-12-1 MMA, 10-7-1 UFC) defeated Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271.

News of Dariush’s withdrawal from the bout was first reported by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. UFC broadcast partner ESPN then reported Green had accepted the position as a replacement.

Makhachev posted a statement confirming the switch of opponent, and wish Dariush well in recovering from the serious ankle injury he reportedly suffered in training (via Instagram):

Different opponent, same goal. Also, I just wanna wish Beneil speedy recovery and best of luck. I truly believe we will face each other in the future.

Соперник травмировался дали нового оппонента 26 февраля мы деле ! 👊 #ufc

Makhachev, No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings, was likely in line for a title shot with a win over No. 5-ranked Dariush. It remains to be seen how a win over Green could impact these plans.

The altered headliner comes on the heels of UFC Fight Night 201 on Saturday losing its top fight between former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev.

The latest UFC Fight Night 202 lineup now includes:

  • Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green
  • Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Rong Zhu
  • Hannah Goldy vs. Jinh Yu Frey
  • Joel Alvarez vs. Arman Tsarukyan
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Misha Cirkunov Wellington Turman
  • Victor Altamirano vs. Carlos Hernandez
  • Terrance McKinney vs. Terrance McKinney Fares Ziam
  • Micheal Gillmore vs. Micheal Gillmore Jonny Parsons
  • Priscila Cachoeira vs. Ji Yeon Kim
  • Josiane Nunes vs. Wu Yanan

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