His name might be a little difficult to spell (thanks copy and paste), but this Saturday will present a tremendous opportunity for fight fans to see Islam Makhachev.

Makhachev headlines UFC on ESPN 26 opposite Thiago Moises in a lightweight showdown live on both ESPN and ESPN+.

The card will generate strong ratings because of the return of Miesha Tate, as the former UFC women’s champion takes on Marion Reneau.

Jeremy Stephens and a handful of others are also set for action, but it is Makhachev that people should be tuning in to see fight.

The 29-year-old is 19-1 overall and has won each of his last seven fights. That includes victories over Drew Dober, Davi Ramos, Gleison Tibau and Nik Lentz.

Since his stunning first round loss to Adriano Martins back in 2015, it has been a rocketship back to the Top-10 for Makhachev.

Overall, he has scored eight submission wins and three knockout finishes, producing a record of 8-1 inside the Octagon.

Moises will be his toughest challenge to date. A Brazilian with three straight wins to his credit, Moises is 15-4 overall and 5-2 since joining the UFC.

During that time, he has bested Bobby Green, Michael Johnson and Kurt Holobaugh. Only Beneil Darius and Damir Ismagulov have topped him, with both of those being decision defeats.


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