Islam Makhachev, UFC lightweight champ, isn’t one to choose opponents. But if given the choice, he wouldn’t fight another rematch at his next bout.
Makhachev (25-1 MMA and 14-1 UFC), who had beaten featherweight Alexander Volkanovski twice, in February 2022 and October 2022, seemed to be on the verge of reclaiming his 155-pound belt from Charles Oliveira.
Arman Tsarukyan – who Makhachev beat by unanimous decision in the month of April 2019 – has also been asking for a chance to win the belt, following his recent knockout against Beneil Darieush.
The standout contender whom Makhachev has yet to share the octagon is “BMF” champ Justin Gaethje, who also positioned himself well in the division with a head kick knockout of Dustin Poirier in July. Makhachev says that of all his options, he prefers Gaethje’s (25-4 MMA and 8-4 UFC).
“To be honest, I’ve already said that I’m not that interested in rematches,” Makhachev told reporters at an IBA Boxing event Dubai, Saturday. “Because if you want to win someone in a good way, you have to add new names. Gaethje is someone who, in my opinion, deserves a fight. I think it would be more interesting to fight him.”