A lightweight title fight rematch between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira is reportedly being targeted for the main event of UFC 297 on January 20th in Toronto, Canada.
That’s the word according to Ariel Helwani, who stresses that the details haven’t been finalized as yet, but suggests that a previously planned featherweight title headliner between Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria on that card would be pushed back to February as a result of this new plan.
That makes sense given that Makhachev just KO’d Volkanovski in the first round of their lightweight title rematch at UFC 294 just a couple of weeks ago, which had left a big question mark over the 145lb champ’s ability to compete again so soon, even though he himself appeared adamant that he wanted to do it.
If the new booking goes ahead then it will see former 155lb champ Oliveira get his opportunity to try to avenge a prior loss to Makhachev, having been submitted by him back in October of last year.
Oliveira has since returned to winning ways with a TKO victory against Beneil Dariush, and had been set to then rematch Makhachev at UFC 294 before being forced out just a couple of weeks prior to fight night due to a cut.
As things stand UFC 297 already appears to have a co-main event set, with Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva set to fight for the vacant bantamweight title, while Arnold Allen fights Movsar Evloev and Neil Magny goes up against Mike Mallot.