Business is starting to pick up in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight division with the announcement of several matchups including Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush, a potential trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier as well as the recently-announced title fight between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira.
One man who wants to get back into the swing of things sooner, rather than later, in order to keep his momentum going in a crowded weight class is Islam Makhachev, the man former title holder, Khabib Nurmagomedov, predicted would be running the division in his absence.
Makhachev recently called out Rafael dos Anjos to a scrap after their first two planned fights fell through, but it seems “RDA” will only take the fight if a few of his demands are met first. So if a fight against the Brazilian bomber doesn’t come to light, Makhachev will move on.
“We know that Felder doesn’t want to fight often. He has other things going on with the UFC and isn’t eager to fight anymore,” Makhachev told reporters after an Eagle Fighting Championship event (video and translation from RT Sport).
“As far as Hooker, I saw that he recently came home. He was quarantined for a long time so I don’t think he’ll want to come back soon. He’ll probably want to rest after getting knocked out, so I think they’ll give me dos Anjos.”
If he can’t get dos Anjos, Makhachev says a fight against former title contender Justin Geathje interests, him as well.
“Yes, it’s possible. Justin and I know each other but it’s not like we’re friends,” Makhachev said. “It’s possible. He’s free right now. Why not? I’d love to fight him.”
Both men share the same management team, but that won’t stop Makhachev from attempting to smash “The Highlight” in order to reach his UFC championship dreams. Gaethje recently revealed that he was passed over for a big fight against Oliveira in favor of booking Chandler against “Do Bronx” for the vacant strap.
Perhaps if Gaethje can take out the red hot Makhachev, it could be what gets him back to the big dance sooner, rather than later.
Who wants to see it?