Two fighters looking to break into the upper echelon of lightweight contenders will clash in March.
Drew Dober and Islam Makhachev have signed on to fight at UFC 259, two people with knowledge of the matchup informed MMA Junkie on Monday. The people requested anonymity because the UFC has yet to officially announce the fight.
UFC 259 takes place March 6 and airs on pay-per-view. A location and venue for the card have not been announced.
Dober (23-9 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has won six of his past seven fights, including three consecutive knockouts. He most recently competed at UFC on ESPN+ 29 in May, scoring a second-round finish of Alexander Hernandez. The 31-year-old was supposed to fight Diego Ferreira in November, but the bout fell apart in the weeks leading up.
Makhachev (18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC), meanwhile, has had a hard time drawing a top-ranked opponent. After suffering his lone career loss in 2015, Makhachev has won six straight, most recently out-grappling Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in September 2019. He was twice scheduled to fight former UFC champ Rafael dos Anjos, with the most recent coming in November, but he pulled out of the fight due to a staph infection.
With the addition, the UFC 259 lineup now includes:
Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson – for women’s featherweight title
Aleksandar Rakic vs. Thiago Santos
Dominick Cruz vs. Casey Kenney
Askar Askarov vs. Joseph Benavidez
Sean Brady vs. Jake Matthews
Randy Costa vs. Trevin Jones
Aalon Cruz vs. Uros Medic
Drew Dober vs. Islam Makhachev