Islam Makhachev will get a UFC Lightweight Title shot with a win over Beneil Dariush if Khabib Nurmagomedov is to be believed.
Makhachev and Dariush will share the Octagon on Feb. 26. The bout will headline a UFC Fight Night event. It’s a big fight for the top five-ranked UFC lightweights.
Islam Makhachev One Win Away From Title Shot, Says Khabib
During an interview with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed the UFC has promised to give Islam Makhachev a title opportunity if he beats Dariush.
“Beneil and Islam, this is truly and 100 percent a number one contender fight. Who’s gonna win? They’re gonna fight for the title and the UFC told Islam, ‘If you beat Dariush [you’re] gonna fight for the title.’ UFC told him, you know it’s like what’s interesting, if Islam finishes him they’re gonna give him double bonus. This is private news, I just wanna share with you and fans because it’s very interesting. UFC really, really want this fight. They told him, if you’re gonna finish him they’re gonna give him double bonus. I don’t know about Dariush’s situation.”
Khabib Predicts Oliveira vs. Poirier
At the UFC 269 PPV on Dec. 11, Charles Oliveira will put the UFC Lightweight Championship on the line against Dustin Poirier. Khabib gave his assessment of the fight.
“I think if Dustin Poirier takes him to the deep ocean like he told us, I think he’s gonna win. But if he rushes, I think Charles Oliveira is gonna have a chance. My opinion like, 60/40 Dustin Poirier because of his cardio and heart. Charles is a very, very dangerous opponent, and right now he’s still champion because he has a [9-fight winning streak]. He beat Tony Ferguson, he finished eight guys and it’s a very interesting fight for me. I think 60/40 Dustin Poirier.”
Nurmagomedov retired after a successful UFC Lightweight Title defense against Justin Gaethje back in Oct. 2020. He has since expressed his belief that Makhachev will become the new gold standard at 155 pounds. Time will tell if his prediction is correct.