BREAKING: Islam Makhachev to Headline in First Ever UFC Event as he Replaces Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez

Published 06/24/2021, 8:39 AM EDT
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Gleison Tibau of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC lightweight contender Islam Makhachev is set to jump onto his first UFC main event slot on August 17. Makhachev takes on Thiago Moises on the card and news recently broke that their scrap has been elevated to a main event position. Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez was the original headliner before Holloway pulled out due to undisclosed reasons per John Morgan.

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Holloway vs Rodriguez was a fight that fans had earmarked for ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, however, it’s now pushed back. The only other option to bump up to a headlining position came in the form of Meisha Tate’s return fight against Marion Reneau. However, the UFC has decided to go with ranked lightweights as the main feature bout.

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What’s more, UFC featherweight Giga Chikadze claimed to have received a contract to replace Holloway against Rodriguez. However, ‘El Pantera’ turned down the fight against the Georgian and will wait for Holloway to return. As it stands, giving the headlining spot to Makhachev and Moises is the best thing for the 155-pound division going forward.

Also Read: ‘There Should Be Some Penalty’- Joe Rogan Goes Off on MMA Fighters Missing Weight

UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises

Makhachev was supposed to headline a Fight Night card last year against Rafael dos Anjos. However, he had to pull out. He’s suffered some rather unfortunate injuries that have threatened to delay his rise to the top. Those who train with Makhachev like Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov believe that his rise is inevitable.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Islam Makhachev works for a submission against Drew Dober in their lightweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Thiago Moises has a massive opportunity against Makhachev who will come in as the heavy favorite. Islam Makhachev stomped all over Drew Dober in his last fight and fans believe that a championship awaits Makhachev. Handing him a loss at a clinical junction in his career could be greatly beneficial for Moises in the long run.

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The Brazilian is on a three-fight win streak and he defeated Alexander Hernandez via UD back in February. Makhachev is undoubtedly the biggest step-up in competition he’s faced, however, he believes he’s ready for the big leagues. The story of the bout heading into the contest will be the ‘Risk to Reward’ variable for both men.

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Darryl Pinto

1775 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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