Monday, May 23, 2022

Islam Makhachev Isn’t Ruling Out Double-Champ Pursuit In The UFC

UFC lightweight contender Islam Makhachev may not have the lightweight throne yet, but he already has big ambitions for his next few fights.

Makhachev put on another grappling clinic against Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49. He was originally supposed to face Beneil Dariush but made quick work of the short-notice replacement Green.

Makhachev and his team have long called for the lightweight title shot amidst his 10-fight winning streak. After the win over Green, he appears set to get the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje later this year.

But Makhachev doesn’t just want to pursue supremacy in the lightweight division. He also intends on cementing himself as one of the pound-for-pound best in the world by earning championships at multiple weight classes.

During his UFC Vegas 49 post-fight press conference, Makhachev spoke about his plans to potentially earn ‘champ-champ’ status.

“First, I have to take this belt, 155 (pounds),” Makhachev said. “We’ll see, why not (go for the welterweight title)? I think in future—(I’m) thinking about this. We have to see with my team and talk about this because I want some challenge, you know? (Having) two belts, I (would) like this moment.”

Makhachev and current UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman share the same manager, Ali Abdelaziz. It’s unclear how much longer Usman will fight in the Octagon, as he has previously hinted at eventually leaving the sport on top.

Depending on what the landscape looks like if and when Makhachev earns the lightweight belt, a move to welterweight may not be too far-fetched. This would allow him to become one of the few UFC fighters to earn titles in multiple divisions, which was once unprecedented in the sport.

How do you think Islam Makhachev would perform at welterweight?

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