The currently unnamed Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view in May has just made some major additions.
Three bouts were added the last few days to UFC 262, which will take place on May 15 presumably at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event does not have a headliner, but it has a few significant matches to bolster it including a lightweight clash between Tony Ferguson (25-5) and Beneil Dariush (20-4-1), as reported by MMA Junkie on Friday. UFC’s broadcast partner ESPN subsequently confirmed that this booking was being finalized shortly after the news broke.
Ferguson, once the proud owner of a spectacular 12-fight win streak where he captured an interim lightweight belt only to lose it due to injury, has fallen on hard times in 2020. “El Cucuy,” who is currently on the first multiple-bout skid of his career, vied for the interim strap once again against Justin Gaethje at UFC 249, only to fall short while suffering his first career knockout loss. Ferguson returned to the Octagon seven months later, and dropped a one-sided decision verdict to Charles Oliveira at UFC 256. Ferguson, who posts a high career finish rate of 80 percent, has notched victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza and Anthony Pettis over the years, to name a few.
Unlike Ferguson’s currently run, Dariush has found nothing but success since a quick knockout loss to Alexander Hernandez in 2018. Since then, the Kings MMA standout has rattled off six consecutive victories, but none more significant than a close battle with Diego Ferreira in a rematch of their 2015 meeting this past February. On his way up the division, Dariush scored a spinning backfist knockout of Scott Holtzman, making him the eighth UFC fighter to finish an opponent with this strike.
This tilt joins a previously reported middleweight scrap between Jamie Pickett (11-5) and Jordan Wright (11-1, 1 NC), which was subsequently confirmed by Pickett on his Instagram. Pickett did not have a successful UFC debut in 2020, as the three-time Dana White's Contender Series alum finally made it to the big stage only to drop a decision to Tafon Nchukwi. His opponent Wright also suffered a loss his last time out, dropping his first career fight when Joaquin Buckley put him away with punches early into the second frame. Wright has still never competed beyond the 48-second mark of Round 2 as a pro.
Finally, another lightweight pairing in the form of Christos Giagos (18-8) vs. Joel Alvarez (18-2) will also be held on the card. This bout was first reported by Milenio on Thursday, and then confirmed by Giagos on his own Instagram page. “The Spartan” rebounded from a decision loss in 2019 to Drakkar Klose by outpointing Carlton Minus in December. Spain’s Alvarez has notched three consecutive stoppages over Danilo Belluardo, Joseph Duffy and Alexander Yakovlev since his losing Octagon debut against Damir Ismagulov in 2019.
UFC 262 will take place on May 15 likely in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, unless the organization decides to travel back to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. There is no current headliner, and the highest billed matchup at the moment is Ferguson vs. Dariush. In another high-stakes tilt, this one at featherweight, Edson Barboza squares off with Shane Burgos in a sure-fire “Fight of the Night” candidate. Also on the card is a significant flyweight contest pitting former title challenger Alex Perez against Matt Schnell.