Newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev received a hero’s welcome upon his return to Dagestan.
Shocking the world by defeating former lightweight champion Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira in the UFC 280 main event, Makhachev returned to his home of Dagestan where thousands of fans stood awaiting to greet the champion upon his triumphant return.
Makhachev extended his win streak to 11 straight, scoring by far the biggest victory of his career, putting away the UFC’s most prolific finisher via a second-round arm-triangle choke.
Islam Makhachev is Gunning For the No. 1 Pound-for-Pound Ranking Next
“Last couple of years, I told you guys Islam Makhachev is the best fighter,” said Makhachev’s mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov after UFC 280. “Not in lightweight — he’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter right now, today.”
Technically, Islam Makhachev is currently listed at No. 3 on the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. That could very well change this February when the Dagestani destroyer is scheduled to make the walk to the Octagon for the first time as a UFC champion. Meeting him in the middle of the cage will be another UFC titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski.
Currently, the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter, Volkanovski will go for two-division glory, potentially joining a short list of elite athletes that includes Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo, and Amanda Nunes. The two are slated to square off at UFC 284 when the promotion heads to Perth, Australia, Volkanovski’s home turf.
‘The Great’ will go into the bout doubling Makhachev’s current win streak that stretches all the way back to 2013. Debuting for the UFC in 2016, Volkanovski has earned notable wins against Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, The Korean Zombie, and Max Holloway on three separate occasions. He’ll look to make it 23-in-a-row this February, capturing a second world title in the process.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 22, 2022