After Islam Makhachev‘s dominant UFC 280 victory against Charles Oliveira, Dana White hinted at who he believes the Dagestani should fight next. Despite Makhachev only winning the belt hours ago, White has already stated that Alexander Volkanovski should be the next challenger for the new lightweight champion.
Volkanovski was present at the Abu Dhabi pay-per-view event and the two UFC champions exchanged words in the octagon. Both fighters were seemingly keen to face each other, with Makhachev open to fighting ‘The Great’ in Australia.
While speaking to the press after UFC 280, Dana White stated (via MMA Junkie):
“It looks like Volkanovski is next. Volkanovski never ceases to amaze me. Another incredible fight.”
Islam Makhachev’s close friend and former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, has high hopes for a potential bout. ‘The Eagle’ stated in an interview with ESPN that Makhachev will take away Alexander Volkanovski’s pound-for-pound crown:
“Volkanovski, we respect you, but we’re gonna take your place, brother. You have pound-for-pound No.1 right now, but Islam is gonna be on your side. You have to prepare.”
Watch Khabib Nurmagomedov speak about the potential Islam Makhachev bout here:
How many UFC fights has Islam Makhachev won in a row after his UFC 280 title win?
Islam Makhachev has extended his UFC winning streak to 11-fights in a row after getting the better of Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. Makhachev submitted the Brazilian after just two rounds of fighting, ending Oliveira’s 11-fight winning streak.
The Dagestani has only lost once during his entire professional MMA career, with Adriano Martins getting a shock knockout victory over him at UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson in 2015. Since the loss, Makhachev has gone on to defeat the likes of Arman Tsarukyan, Dan Hooker, Bobby Green, and now Oliveira.
Watch the Dagestani’s journey to UFC gold here:
Despite his dominant performances in the UFC, some had felt that Makhachev didn’t deserve the title shot against Oliveira. A lack of ranked opponents on his resume and alleged avoidance of Rafael dos Anjos had tainted some fans’ view of Makhachev.
The bout with ‘RDA’ has fallen apart numerous times and is still yet to materialize to this day. The Brazilian even took a dig at the Dagestani champion on Twitter after Islam Makhachev’s UFC 280 title win:
“The guy that runs from me is now the champ. Congrats @MAKHACHEVMMA #UFC280”