The clock was ticking down, but Beneil Dariush has found himself a new dance partner for UFC 222 next week.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced Friday that Dariush will stay on the UFC 222 bill and will now meet UFC debutant Alexander Hernandez. Dariush was originally scheduled to meet Bobby Green on the card until two weeks ago when “King” Green pulled out of the contest due to an undisclosed injury.
UFC 222 is scheduled for March 3 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, headlined by a UFC women’s featherweight title clash between champion “Cyborg” Cristiane Justino and challenger Yana Kunitskaya, the former Invicta Fighting Championships’ bantamweight titlist.
Dariush has compiled an 8-3-1 inside the Octagon over his four-year UFC tenure. After ending up on the business end of Sherdog.com's 2017 “Knockout of the Year” courtesy of Edson Barboza’s flying knee last March, Dariush helped author a rollicking brawl with Evan Dunham at UFC 216 last October. The Kings MMA product last tasted victory in November 2016, taking a unanimous verdict over Russian Rashid Magomedov.
San Antonio, Texas’ Hernandez has ripped off six consecutive wins - - four by way of stoppage - - to earn passage into the Octagon. The 25-year-old “Alexander the Great” was already preparing for a bout against Desmond Hill at Fury Fighting Championship 23, slated for March 4, the day after UFC 222, but jumped at the late-notice opportunity to make his UFC debut against a top-10 opponent, saving Dariush from being rescheduled for later in the UFC’s 2018 grind.