- Islam Makhachev respects Charles Oliveira for conceding he lost to a better man at UFC 280
- Makhachev is targeting a fight with Alexander Volkanovski next
This past Saturday, Islam Makhachev faced lightweight top contender Oliveira for the vacant title in the headlining bout of UFC 280. He went into the outing as a big betting favorite, looking to extend his 10-fight winning run against Oliveira, who put his 11-fight run on the line. Makhachev dominated his opponent in the first round before securing an arm-triangle choke submission to finish the greatest finisher in the history of the UFC and become the new 155-pound champion.
Islam Makhachev respects Charles Oliveira for admitting he was better
At the post-fight press conference for UFC 280, Makhachev shared his thoughts on Oliveira admitting he was the better man on the night.
“Yes, I respect him because this guy is tough. He didn’t have an easy life. I respect all his team, met with them all week in the hotel. We don’t have nothing between our teams. But I told the media my plan all week. I’m going to take him down, hold him, make him tired, and finish him there.”
When asked about what he would like to accomplish before retirement, Makhachev made it clear he had no intentions of stepping away anytime soon.
“I don’t think about retirement right now. I have to be the number one pound-for-pound champion. After that moment, we will see. We are going to think about it. But right now, I have to defend this belt many times… we’ll see if it’s a good idea to move to the other division for my legacy.”
Makhachev wants to fight Alexander Volkanovski next to become ‘pound-for-pound’ champion
Islam Makhachev further expanded on his plans to become the pound-for-pound king by defeating the reigning featherweight champion Volkanovski in his backyard.
“I have a new target. I have to be the number one pound-for-pound champion. That’s why I have to go to Australia and beat this guy (Volkanovski). I have a big team. It doesn’t matter, it’s good for us. We can travel to Australia, it’s a good country. We can make some camp there, training there.”
“Volkanovski is tough. He has good skills, good striking, game. But he’s small for this division I think. He wants to jump up to 155 pounds, let’s do this but this weight class is not his level.”
Company president Dana White had indicated a double-champ matchup between Volkanovski and Makhachev would likely be next. A potential booking could be made for the promotion’s return to Australia for UFC 284 in February 2023.