Islam Makhachev vs. Justin Gaethje Dubbed as ‘The fight to make’ for the uFC lightweight championship

Islam Makhachev

Ali Abdelaziz, the manager of reigning lightweight world champion Islam Makhachev, believes Justin Gaethje should receive the next shot at the 155-pound crown.

Originally, Makahchev was slated to defend his title against Charles Oliveira in a rematch at UFC 294 in October, but ‘Do Bronx’ was forced to withdraw from the bout after sustaining a cut whilst training. The ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ went on to defend his title definitively against short-notice replacement Alexander Volkanovski at the event.

Many assumed that the UFC would simply rebook Makhachev vs. Oliveira 2 for some time in 2024, but if Abdelaziz gets his wish, the promotion will move on from that matchup for something a little more fresh.

“@MAKHACHEVMMA vs @Justin_Gaethje Next, this is the fight to make,” Abdelaziz wrote on X.

Abdelaziz followed that up with another post that served as a warning to the potential title challenger.

“@Justin_Gaethje you will never be the same after you fight him remember that.”

Islam Makhachev Agrees with his manager

The champ echoed similar sentiments in a recent interview, making it clear that he is no longer interested in any rematches.

“To be honest, I’ve already told [UFC] I’m not interested in rematches,” he said. “Because if you want to [be a champion] in a good way, you have to add new names. There is [Justin] Gaethje, who I would say deserved a fight. I think it would be more interesting to fight him.”

Of course, with Ali Abdelaziz representing both Islam Makhachev and Justin Gaethje, he stands to cash in no matter the outcome.