Islam Makhachev wants another belt.
The current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight kingpin, Makhachev, successfully made his first title defense at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia two weekends ago (Feb. 11, 2023). In doing so, the Dagestani destroyer prevented Featherweight titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski, from achieving his goal of becoming a two-division champion.
Defeating Volkanovski via unanimous decision in a thrilling match up (watch highlights), Makhachev is now ready for his turn at trying to do the same at Welterweight.
“100 percent I would be interested,” Makhachev told Match TV (h/t za.khabiba) of a chance to become a double champ. ”Even now, if the UFC wants to do this and offer me the next fight in a different category, I will discuss with the team, of course, but I agree 100 percent I want to try myself in a different weight category because the double champion will remain in history for a long time.”
There’s been plenty of noise and debate that came out of the champion versus champion battle with several in the community making arguments for either man as the rightful victor. Despite still being the champion at 145 pounds, Volkanovski wants his rematch, and should UFC present Makhachev with it next, he won’t say no.
“We agreed with Volkanovski after the fight, he asked if we could make a rematch. I answered, of course,” Makhachev said. “If the UFC wants it then no problem. But it’s all decided by the UFC as they want, so be it. Fighters cannot assign fights to each other without consent of the management.”
Upon his eventual return to 145 pounds, “The Great” Volkanovski will have newly crowned interim titleholder, Yair Rodriguez, awaiting him. Rodriguez defeated Josh Emmett with a second-round triangle choke submission in the UFC 284 co-main event to earn the title (watch highlights).
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Makhachev challenges for welterweight title
Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2