Islam Makhachev likes the idea of fighting Justin Gaethje next.
With Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush booked, and Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor likely having their trilogy, Gaethje is on the outside looking in and has vented his frustration about not getting a fight.
Now, Makhachev, who is expecting to fight a top-10 opponent isn’t sure who the matchmakers will give him but is interested in some big fights.
“I don’t know what’s going on with the UFC matchmaking but I think that’s what will end up happening,” Makhachev said at an Eagle Fighting Championship event (video and translation from RT Sport). “Most of the top-10 fighters are busy but I’m 90 percent sure they’ll give me a top-10 guy…
“We know that Felder doesn’t want to fight often. He has other things going on with the UFC and isn’t eager to fight anymore. As far as Hooker, I saw that he recently came home. He was quarantined for a long time so I don’t think he’ll want to come back soon. He’ll probably want to rest after getting knocked out, so I think they’ll give me dos Anjos.”
If the dos Anjos fight doesn’t come to fruition, Islam Makhachev would like to fight Justin Gaethje.
“Yes, it’s possible. Justin and I know each other but it’s not like we’re friends,” Makhachev said. “It’s possible. He’s free right now. Why not? I’d love to fight him.”
Although Makhachev is not in the top-10, if Gaethje wants to fight soon, the Russian might be his best option. The winner of the fight would also be set up to fight for the lightweight title, so depending on what Gaethje wants to do, the fight may happen. However, the RDA fight seems like the most likely option.
Would you like to see Islam Makhachev vs. Justin Gaethje?