Islam Makhachev is expecting a title fight next, but he doesn’t mind a pit stop with one enticing pickup along his route.
With 10 consecutive victories now under his belt after defeating Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49, Islam Makhachev is done waiting. Just as he has been saying for several months now, Makhachev believes the only fight that makes sense for him at this juncture is a world title fight against the winner of the upcoming Charles Oliveira (c) vs. Justin Gaethje lightweight championship bout.
However, Conor McGregor is not walking back his comments from earlier this year of expecting a lightweight title fight upon his return. Despite the fact that he is not yet cleared to return and him bulking up noticeably, the Irishman’s gaze remains fixed on Oliveira’s pounds of gold.
Appearing at Bellator 275 this weekend, McGregor reiterated his interest in a championship match against Oliveira, even advising the Brazilian to wait an extra month or two so that they could scrap it up in July.
At the UFC Vegas 49 post-fight presser, Makhachev was asked about where McGregor fits into the title picture. Although Makhachev finds McGregor to be irrelevant, the Dagestani did express interest in fighting The Notorious One to make him earn the title shot he’s been asking for.
“Honestly, I don’t remember when this guy beat someone,” Makhachev said. “He have to come back, beat someone, and … let’s go, why not? I’m gonna smash him like easy. Bobby Green is gonna be hard for me more than for him (McGregor).”
Makhachev is currently ranked #4 in the lightweight division. With Dustin Poirier (#2) just receiving a title shot at UFC 269, Justin Gaethje (#1) being up next, and Beneil Dariush (#3) being injured with no timetable to return, there is a clear path for Makhachev to get the next shot. Meanwhile, McGregor is unranked and, to Makhachev’s point, has not won a fight at 155 lbs. since 2016.
Nevertheless, Makhachev does not appear to be exempt from the “Red Panty Night” guest list sign-up, where everyone seems to want an invite to the party. The fact that McGregor has a deep history with Makhachev’s mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is probably just as much of an incentive for Makhachev to take this fight as the payday.
You’ll want to stay tuned to see what lies in store for Makhachev, McGregor, and the rest of the lightweight division in 2022. And the best place to be for all the latest news and updates is right here at MMANews.com.
Do you think a fight between Conor McGregor and Islam Makhachev would make sense right now?