Islam Makhachev doesn’t understand why Jon Jones is the number one-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
On February 11, Makhachev defended his lightweight title in a close decision win against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. A month later, the Russian found himself third in the pound-for-pound rankings behind Volkanovski and Jon Jones.
During an interview with Daniel Cormier, Makhachev voiced his frustration about not being ranked number one P4P:
“This is bullsh*t. How can Jon Jones be number one? He’s beat some guy who’s not champion, this guy don’t have belt, and they put him at number one pound-for-pound. This is bullsh*t… The UFC put him best pound-for-pound. Other people who know about MMA, they know who is the best fighter in the world.”
In March of this year, Jones returned from a three-year layoff and fought at heavyweight for the first time. ‘Bones’ was matched up against Ciryl Gane for the vacant throne after Francis Ngannou left the promotion. The former light heavyweight champion submitted Gane in the first round and claimed the number one spot in the UFC P4P rankings.
Islam Makhachev hopes Beneil Dariush defeats Charles Oliveira to earn a title shot
On Saturday, June 10, UFC 289 will feature a high-stakes matchup between Beneil Dariush and Charles Oliveira in the co-main event. Although nothing has been confirmed, the winner between the elite lightweights has a solid chance of getting a title shot.
During the same interview with Daniel Cormier, Islam Makhachev revealed who he prefers to win and be his next opponent:
“I hope he [Dariush] can beat Charles Oliveira because I want next [title challenger] to be new… I want some new challenge, new opponent, that’s why I want to fight with Beneil. I hope he beat Oliveira tomorrow… Honestly, I think Beneil can beat him.”
Makhachev doesn’t want Dariush to win because he’s already fought Oliveira. In October 2022, the Russian submitted ‘Do Bronx’ in the second round to become the UFC lightweight champion.
Meanwhile, Dariush would be a new challenge, as he’s won eight consecutive fights and never received a title shot. Only time will tell if ‘Do Bronx’ can get the job done at UFC 289 in Vancouver, Canada.