Despite substantial links to a title rematch with Charles Oliveira in his Octagon return later this year, undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has welcomed the possibility of a title defense against former interim gold holder, Dustin Poirier next.
Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion, most recently headlined UFC 284 back in February, successfully defending the title in a unanimous decision win over Alexander Volkanovski – besting the featherweight champion in Perth, Australia.
Winning the vacant lightweight crown against former champion, the aforenoted, Oliveira back in October of last year, Makhachev submitted the Brazilian on ‘Fight Island’.
And despite the former gold holder’s stunning return to the winner’s enclosure at UFC 289 earlier this month in his blistering win over Beneil Dariush, Makhachev has played down the chances he actually grants him a title rematch next.
Islam Makhachev welcomes fresh fight with Dustin Poirier next
In terms of next opponents for Makhachev, the Russian has weighed up the possibility that he fights former interim champion, Dustin Poirier next – with the Lafayette native slated to return to the Octagon next month.
“I don’t know,” Islam Makhachev said of his next opponent during a recent interview. “Maybe (Dustin) Poirier. “He has a big name in the UFC. Well – I can’t say for sure. Dariush lost, everything turned upside-down. I can’t say anything for now.”
Booked to return to the Octagon in the main event of UFC 291 at the end of July, Dustin Poirier, the current #2 ranked lightweight will rematch fellow former interim champion, Justin Gaethje in Salt Lake City, Utah – with the pairing also clashing for the symbolic BMF championship.
Poirier successfully returned to winning-ways at UFC 281 back in November of last year at Madison Square Garden, submitting former vacant title challenger, Michael Chandler with a third round rear-naked choke.