Movsar Evloev is the fighter to watch at UFC 288.
Movsar Evloev has been a stranger to losing since making his debut in 2014. Evloev is currently riding a 16-fight unbeaten streak, only fighting for two organizations in nine years, and hasn't lost yet. Evloev was originally stepping in on short notice at UFC 288 against Bryce Mitchell, but now Brazil's Diego Lopes will be stepping in on even shorter notice to face Evloev.
Evloev is a Greco-Roman wrestler fighting out of American Top Team currently ranked No. 10 in the featherweight division and was 10-0 before joining the UFC. Evloev was Russian promotion M-1 Global's bantamweight champion, defending the belt twice before joining the UFC in the featherweight division where he competed early in his career.
Evloev is 6-0 with the UFC, all of his wins coming by way of decision, and has beaten Seungwoo Choi, Enrique Barzola, Mike Grundy, Nik Lentz, Hakeem Dawodu and most recently Dan Ige a little under a year ago.
Movsar Evloev looks to keep his unbeaten career alive with a win over newcomer Diego Lopes
Lopes will be making his debut in the UFC on only five days' notice at UFC 288 against the unbeaten and ranked Evloev. Lopes carries a 21-5 record and is on a two-fight win streak, last fighting in November. Lopes appeared on Dana White's Contender Series in 2021 but lost a technical decision to Joanderson Brito.
It's unclear, but as of now, this fight will still be in the same slot on the main card. The height and reach advantage will be similar, but this could be an interesting fight, as Evloev has zero finishes in the UFC while Lopes has finished 19 of his 21 wins. A win for Evloev might not help him move up the rankings, but taking a short-notice fight is always a risk.