Islam Makhachev Names Who He Wants To Fight Next: ‘This Guy Is Tough’

Islam already has his pick to become his next lightweight title challenger.

Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev - Image Credit @aaronbronsteter twitter
  • Islam Makhachev admitted he would prefer to face Beneil Dariush next and insisted that he’s been prepared for it
  • The lightweight champ is still down for a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski

Islam Makhachev is just waiting for the smoke to settle but he’s already prepared to defend his UFC lightweight belt. As early as now, the Dagestani champ already has a favorite to become his next challenger.

The champ wants to test himself

As expected, Makhachev wants to take on the contender who could present a tough matchup for him. According to the reigning champ, he hopes No. 4 lightweight contender Beneil Dariush gets the job done against Charles Oliveira at UFC 288 and eventually be slated against him.

“I hope Beniel [Dariush] beats [Charles] Oliveira. We gonna make some good fight because this guy is tough because he have good skills and it’s gonna be a huge fight for the fans,” Makhachev told Aaron Bronsteter.

Makhachev went on to reveal that he has long been prepared to face Dariush and he certainly believes a win over “do Bronx” should be enough for him to be the rightful title challenger.

“I prepared for this fight a couple years ago. He beat a good opponent (Mateusz Gamrot) in his last fight. That’s why I think if he beat Charles he’s gonna deserve [the title shot],” he added.

Volk is still on the drawing board

A few weeks ago, Makhachev proved that he is the better pound-for-pound fighter when he secured a controversial decision win over P4P king Alexander Volkanovski. When asked about his stance on the potential of a rematch with “The Great,” Makhachev said that if there’s a demand for it, then he’ll be glad to give it a go.

“I just showed who’s the best in the world. It was good experience for me. If a lot of people want to see the rematch then let’s do this. Why not? Let’s go. I am ready,” the Dagestani fighter emphasized.

Makhachev has been a professional fighter since 2010 and his experience fighting in Australia, Volkanovski’s home country, was one of the most difficult ones. 

“The people expect an easy fight from me. Like how I take him down, smash him there, but many things in Australia is different. All fighters wake up early morning, they don’t give us time for recovery, but Volkanovski doesn’t need time for recovery. He doesn’t cut too much weight. That’s why I know all things from his side of Australia, weather and weight, I just went to Australia and beat the champion and I don’t care if they give me the place or not. I just have my belt… This is most important things for the fighter. Not just cut weight, you have to recover, but they don’t give time for the recovery,” he revealed.

After Makhachev beat Volkanovski, Jon Jones took the sport by storm by becoming the new heavyweight champion with a first-round submission win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. Even before Jones make his UFC return, Makhachev already said it wouldn’t change a thing because he had already proven that he’s the best fighter in the world.

Published on March 7, 2023 at 12:15 pm
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