A lightweight clash between Islam Makhachev, and Alexander ‘The Great’ Hernandez has been agreed for UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18th. Makhachev will join his fellow countrymen, Khabib and Umar Nurmagomedov on the pay-per-view as he attempts to extend his undefeated run to seven fights. Missouri native, Hernandez recently returned to the win column via a unanimous decision showing against Francisco Trinaldo back in July of last year. News of the pairing was initially reported by MMA Junkie writers, John Morgan and Nolan King.
American Kickboxing Academy staple, Makhachev featured at UFC 242 last September, earning a hard-fought win over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Davi Ramos to earn the #14 rank in an ever-improving lightweight division. The 28-year-old Dagestani has managed other high-profile wins throughout his five-year stint with the promotion, including victories over Gleison Tibau, Nik Lentz, and Arman Tsarukyan.
Tipped for eventual Octagon gold success in his promising career, the wrestling-based contender has only been bested once in his professional career – in a knockout defeat to Adriano Martins on his UFC debut. Makhachev had previously been linked to a bout with fellow wrestling ace, Gregor Gillespie for the April card.
Before his devastating loss to Donald Cerrone in January of last year, Hernandez had made a big impression among his 115-pound peers. The 27-year-old had managed a debut knockout of decorated grappler, Beneil Dariush, before taking a unanimous decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt managed to pick up a win in the state of his residency last time out, taking a three-round affair against the gritty, Francisco Trinaldo.
UFC 249 will take place on April 18th. from the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York – and is expected to be headlined by a fifth attempted pairing of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, this time, with the undisputed lightweight title up for grabs. A co-main event rematch between former strawweight champions, Jéssica Andrade and Rose Namajunas is also planned for the card. In featherweight action, Brian Ortega is expected to make his Octagon return against perennial contender, Zabit Magomedsharipov.
In a middleweight bout, Uriah Hall has been matched with Jacaré Souza. At 145-pounds, Jeremy Stephens meets Calvin Kattar – while Lyman Good tackles Belal Muhammad at welterweight. At 135-pounds, Sijara Eubanks meets with Sarah Moras. Kharma Worthy and Ottman Azaitar meet in a lightweight clash. In two heavyweight bouts, Ben Rothwell meets Gian Villante – and Shamil Abdurakhimov takes on division prospect, Ciryl Gane.