Following the outcome of UFC 274’s main event, the lightweight title picture has become a hot conversation topic.
Without a doubt, former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (who missed weight at UFC 274, thus vacating the title) will be one-half of the next title bout. the question is, who will be his opponent?
According to Islam Makhachev, it should be him. In an interview with ESPN, Makhachev laid his case.
Speaking with Brett Okamoto, Makhachev says “UFC says like we have to like find some contender, but this is not contender because we don’t have a champion. It’s Charles contender too.”
“I deserve because you know I have 10 fights with UFC”
“He just run you know because, because he knows his grappling or other his skills are not gonna work against me. Because, he beat all striking guys, you know, Porier or Chandler” he continues.
“But we know, when someone gives him hard time he always gives up. That’s why I’m gonna take him down, make him tired, and he gonna give up like he did ten times in the UFC.”
Check out the full interview:
Makhachev (22-1-0) has been on an absolute tear through the lightweight division since joining the UFC back in 2015. Going 11-1 under the UFC banner, he is riding a 10-fight win streak with wins over Arman Tsarukyan, Drew Dober, and Dan Hooker. In his most recent outing, he headlined the February 26th Fight Night where he stopped Bobby Green in the first round.
DOUBT HIM NOW.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) February 27, 2022
With former champion Oliveira having already defeated most of the top 5 in the division, it is unclear who he might face next. With 4th ranked Makhachev winning repeatedly in dominant fashion and on a ten fight win streak, it may just be him. However, there are discussions of Makhachev taking on 6th ranked Beneil Dariush in a number one contender bout.
Though the lightweight picture is blurry, we can likely count on Oliveira facing either Makhachev or Dariush next. But you can never count out a potential Michael Chandler rematch, or Conor McGregor sliding his way in there.
Do you think Islam Makhachev deserves the next shot? How would you match make the top lightweights?