Islam Makhachev rules out fight with Max Holloway ahead of UFC 302 return: ‘I need contenders from my division’

Islam Makhachev's coach warns Max Holloway from title fight it will be gruelling

Ahead of his return next month at UFC 302, undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has once more turned down a fight with recent BMF title winner, Max Holloway, claiming he first needs to focus on contenders from his own division.

Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion and current pound-for-pound number one, is slated to headline UFC 302 at the beginning of next month in New Jersey, taking on soon-to-be common-foe, former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier.

Islam Makhachev shuts down title fight with Max Holloway I don't want to give him the chance
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

As for Hawaiian favorite, Holloway, the former featherweight gold holder featured on the main card of UFC 300 last month, landing a spectacular buzzer-beating knockout win over former interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje. 

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Islam Makhachev rules out title fight with Max Holloway

And weighing up the possibility of taking on Makhachev as he appears to have the pick of the bunch of title fights off the back of his symbolic title fight win over Gaethje, Holloway’s chances of fighting for gold at 155lbs have been shot down definitively by the Russian.

Max Holloway Justin Gaethje KO UFC 300 Pros react UFC 1024x587 1

“Honestly, Max (Holloway) has a job in his division,” Islam Makhachev said during an appearance on Good Guy / Bad Guy. “I don’t want to give a chance to Max because people are still talking about me not defending my belt against the lightweight guys.”

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“I need some real contenders from my division,” Islam Makhachev explained. “I want to clean my division and fight for the welterweight [championship].”

And hoping to fight for the welterweight crown as mentioned, American Kickboxing Academy staple, Makhachev has vowed to take on incumbent gold holder, Leon Edwards – as soon as he completes his fight against Lafayette veteran, Poirier.

Islam Makhachev issues ultimatum to UFC I'll be ready to smash in March or see you after Ramadan
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Last featuring at UFC 294 back in October of last year in Abu Dhabi, Makhachev turned in a dominant victory over former featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski in the pair’s rematch, courtesy of a high-kick KO win in the Middle East.

Who wins in a potential title fight: Islam Makhachev or Max Holloway?