Islam Makhachev calls for division move after UFC 302 return: ‘I already beat everyone at lightweight’

Islam Makhachev calls for division move after UFC 302 I've already beat everyone at lightweight

Booked to make his return at UFC 302 at the beginning of June, Islam Makhachev claims if he dispatches incoming foe, Dustin Poirier in Newark, he immediately wants to test welterweight waters, claiming he’s already cleared out the lightweight division.

Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight titleholder and current pound-for-pound number one, is slated to make his first outing of the year in June, headlining UFC 302 in a title defense against former interim gold holder, Poirier.

Islam Makhachev set to fight twice this year ahead of expected UFC return
Mandatory Credit: Giuseppe Cacece

Most recently headlining UFC 294, Russian standout, Makhachev dispatched ex-featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski in the pair’s title rematch, landing a first round high-kick and strikes KO win.

READ MORE:  Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals 'Clear plan' for Islam Makhachev to finish Dustin Poirier in UFC 302 title fight

Islam Makhachev eyes welterweight move after UFC 302

And despite finding himself linked with a whole slew of potential future fights at 155lbs, namely a rematch with Arman Tsarukyan, a clash with fellow European talent, Mateusz Gamrot – or a bout with recent BMF title winner, Max Holloway, Makhachev insists he wants a welterweight move after UFC 302.

UFC Saudi Arabia postponed until June amid links to Islam Makhachev comeback fight
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

“Honestly, I don’t have any exciting fights, because Dustin (Poirier) has just [a] one fight winning streak,” Islam Makhachev told The New York Post. “And, we have Arman (Tsarukyan) – but I’ve already beat this guy.”

“I don’t have some job in my division, in my opinion, honestly,” Islam Makhachev explained. “And I think I have chance, they [the UFC] have to give me the chance for a second belt. Because I’ve already beat all the all (sic) guys.” 

READ MORE:  Jon Jones comments on 'Weak' training footage from Stipe Miocic ahead of UFC 309 title fight: 'Prepare even harder'

As for incoming foe, Poirier, the Lousiana native will look to finally capture undisputed lightweight spoils at the third time of trying – earning his title tilt with a second round knockout win over French contender, Benoit Saint Denis in the co-main event of UFC 299 back in March. 

Islam Makhachev backed to retire from the UFC by end of next year he's cleared out 155 pounds
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Winning vacant lightweight gold back in 2022, Makhachev snapped the division-record winning run of former champion, Charles Oliveira in the pair’s long-anticipated showcase, locking up an arm-triangle submission win.

Would you like to see Islam Makhachev fight for welterweight gold after UFC 302?