Josh Thomson believes Islam Makhachev might have overtrained or had a bad weight cut for UFC 284.
Despite the minor backlash regarding the scorecards, Makhachev successfully defended the UFC lightweight championship for the first time on February 11. The new pound-for-pound king struggled at moments against Alexander Volkanvski, but he still managed to extend his winning streak to twelve.
During an episode of the Weighing In podcast, Thomson had this to say about Makhachev potentially being less than 100% against Volkanovski:
“When he [Makhachev] got into the cage, he looked smooth… He either overtrained, which is common, or he had a really hard weight cut. His body looked smooth, no definition, he wasn’t able to fill up. His body just looked flat.”
Thomson also had this to say about Makhachev being a better fighter than he showed at UFC 284:
“He’s a better fighter than that. I feel like a lot of people already know this. They know he’s a better fighter than what he showed last night, but also Volkanovski posed a lot of threats that he has never had to deal with. The speed, the ability to switch stance, the durability, but also the talking… It wasn’t his best performance.”
‘The Punk’ went on to discuss how Makhachev faced several adversities, especially Khabib Nurmagomedov not being in his corner. Nonetheless, the UFC lightweight champion avoided the upset and added an elite name to his resume. The question is, what’s next for the P4P king?
Watch Josh Thomson recap Islam Makhachev’s win at UFC 284 below:
Josh Thomson discusses what’s next for Islam Makhachev
Josh Thomson mentioned the possibility of Islam Makhachev overtraining for UFC 284, but he was mainly focused on the Russian cutting too much weight. Although there hasn’t been much discussion of Makhachev moving up to welterweight, Thomson believes he’s ready to win the UFC championship in that division:
“I think Islam has a good chance of winning the 170-pound title… He might be cutting too much weight… If he doesn’t keep his nutrition under check between fights, he’s gonna be in trouble, man… I think in this fight there was times where he just looked unstable on his feet and I think a little bit of that is him just cutting too much weight. He walks around at 200 [pounds].”
Thomson then focused on the more likely scenario of Makhachev staying at lightweight. ‘The Punk’ had this to say about when and who the 155-pound king could be fighting next:
“You have Ramadan coming up. Islam probably won’t fight again until after Ramadan. In the meantime, you’re gonna have [Beneil] Dariush vs. Charles Oliveira then you’ve got Dustin [Poirier].”
Ramadan lasts one month between the end of March to April. Although the fight is not confirmed, Beneil Dariush is expected to take on Charles Oliveira in May. If the UFC decides to make Darisuh vs. Oliveira a number one contender matchup, the timeline makes sense for the winner to face Makhachev when he returns to the Octagon.