UFC Vegas 49 has hit a major road block after Beneil Dariush was forced to withdraw from the main event with an ankle injury.
Dariush was scheduled to face off with Islam Makhachev in a huge lightweight title eliminator bout, with the winner expected to face the winner of Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje later this year.
But with Dariush out, the UFC have moved quickly to replace him in the bout and Bobby Green will step in on just ten days notice to take the fight.
Green most recently fought at UFC 271 last weekend, earning a unanimous decision victory over Nasrat Haqparast on the main card with an impressive striking performance.
It was his fifth win in his last seven bouts and a second consecutive victory, having knocked out Al Iaquinta in the first-round at UFC 268 in November previously.
But he will step into the cage to fight Makhachev, who many see as the next champion in the division, on a nine-fight win streak and ready to challenge for the championship.
Due to the short notice nature of the bout, it will be contested at a 160-pound catchweight according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
Dariush’s injury was said to have happened just this week, with Okamoto claiming to have been present at the gym when the incident took place.
He says as Dariush went for a takedown in training, his toe got caught in the mat and as he and his partner’s weight came crashing down it left his foot in a very awkward position and thus causing some quite ‘severe’ damage.
There is no time-frame on Dariush’s return to the octagon, however it seems as though his chances of getting into the title picture in the immediate aftermath are now in doubt.
A win for Makhachev will likely cement his place as the number one contender for the title later this year, but a win for Green could see one of the most remarkable MMA stories in recent years.
As of writing, Green isn’t even ranked in the UFC lightweight rankings but will be taking on the number four fighter in the world.
UFC Vegas 49 is scheduled to take place at the Apex Centre in Las Vegas on February 26th.
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