Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy or sign-up through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more but we’ll get a small commission that helps me in running this blog. Read the Disclosure page.
Islam Makhachev believes that next time he will face an opponent from the top 10. At UFC 259, Makhachev dominated Drew Dober on his way to a round three submission victory. Thanks to this victory, his winning streak increased to seven, and he will have to fight the strongest opponent. The goal was to rebook Rafael dos Agnos‘ fight this summer for a spot in the main event, but he is also open to fighting any of the top 10.
“I don’t know what’s going on with the UFC matchmaking but I think that’s what will end up happening,” Makhachev said after an Eagle Fighting Championship event (translation via RT Sport). “Most of the top-10 fighters are busy but I’m 90 percent sure they’ll give me a top-10 guy…
“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. 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.”
The fight with Rafael dos Anjos definitely makes sense for Islam Makhachev. The Brazilian is a former lightweight champion, and if the Russian manages to raise his hand, he is likely to get the number one challenger fight. However, if the RDA bout does not take place, Makhachev says he would like to fight Justin Gaethje given the fact that “The Highlight” is currently unbooked and available.
“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.”
At the moment, Makhachev is just waiting for his next fight, and hopes to return in the summer.