UFC President Dana White accused Makhachev of turning down a fight with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272. This resulted in White voicing his intentions to re-book the fight with Beneil Dariush for Makhachev’s next bout.
Makhachev was supposed to face Dariush in a potential No. 1 contender bout at UFC Vegas 49. This was before Dariush pulled out with an injury and Makhachev ended up facing the unranked Bobby Green, earning a quick TKO victory.
During a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Makhachev responded to White’s recent comments regarding his next fight.
“Now, Dana say ‘Islam have to fight versus Dariush,’” Makhachev said. “I have no problem (fighting) him, but we have to fight for the title next. I don’t know who we have. Poirier? He lose many times. Chandler? Hooker? Tony Ferguson? RDA have four fights (with) two wins. And Gillespie, he (fought) one time (in) two years. Who (will) fight for the title?”
Makhachev has won 10 straight and seemed on the verge of a title shot before allegedly turning down a fight with dos Anjos on short notice at UFC 272. Despite White’s mandate that Makhachev has to face Dariush next before a potential title shot, Makhachev has no plans to comply.
“I’m gonna take this belt and fight (Dariush). No problem.”
Makhachev is still expecting to fight the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje in November in Abu Dhabi. White has hinted at the UFC’s potential return to Fight Island later this year.
Oliveira will defend his lightweight title against Gaethje at UFC 274. While Dariush’s timetable for a return is uncertain, Makhachev is willing to wait for the next shot at the belt.
Who do you predict Islam Makhachev’s next fight will be against?