Islam Makhachev lays out plan for UFC return, eyes Justin Gaethje title fight in June comeback from injury

Islam Makhachev confirms plans for June title fight with Justin Gaethje in UFC return

Undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has laid out plans for his next three fights in the Octagon – including two this year, in the form of a June comeback against former interim champion, Justin Gaethje, and then a November rematch with either Charles Oliveira or Arman Tsarukyan in an annual New York UFC return for the promotion.

Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion and pound-for-pound number one ranked fighter under the banner of the promotion, has been sidelined since October, most recently landing a first round high-kick KO win over featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski in the pair’s rematch in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Offering his services to the UFC in March, prior to the beginning of Ramadan, Makhachev has been widely linked with a title fight defense against symbolic BMF champion and former interim gold holder, Gaethje.

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Islam Makhachev eyes June comeback in Justin Gaethje clash

And dealing with an unspecified injury as per UFC CEO, Dana White, Makhachev confirmed plans for his next three fights – beginning with a June fight against the above-mentioned, Gaethje.

“June 8. UFC PPV vs. Gaethje,” Islam Makhachev posted on his official X account. “November UFC MSG vs. Oliveira/Arman. February 2025 vs. anybody Inshallah.”

Weighing up the possibility of an end-of-year title fight rematch with either former foes, Oliveira, or Tsarukyan, the latter pair are slated to meet in an officially-billed title-eliminator fight at UFC 300 in April, as part of a monumental card for the organization. 

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First fighting back in October 2022 in a vacant lightweight title fight, Makhachev snapped the division-best 11-fight winning spree of Sao Paulo finisher, Oliveira with a stunning second round arm-triangle submission success. 

In his first successful title defense last February, Makhachev turned in a close decision win over Volkanovski – handing the New South Wales native his first promotional loss. 

Who wins in a June championship fight: Islam Makhachev or Justin Gaethje?