Undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has distanced himself from a potential future rematch with former division titleholder, Charles Oliveira, explaining that he needs to find new challenges rather than fight the Brazilian for a second time.

Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion, cornered fellow lightweight titleholder, Usman Nurmagomedov under the Bellator MMA banner last night – with the latter submitting former UFC champion, Benson Henderson with a first round rear-naked choke to progress in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix. 

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Yet to be booked since headlining UFC 284 last month, Makhachev travelled to enemy territory in Perth, Australia to take on featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski – defending his lightweight crown in a close, unanimous decision success

Winning the vacant title back in October of last year in Abu Dhabi, UAE – Makhachev submitted the above-mentioned, Oliveira in the second round with a stunning arm-triangle win, snapping the Brazilian’s division-best undefeated run to boot.

Islam Makhachev distances himself from re-run with Charles Oliveira

However, with Oliveira slated to fight the surging, Beneil Dariush at UFC 288 in May in Newark, New Jersey – Makhachev has claimed that it will take a special performance from the Sao Paulo native to earn a championship re-run.

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“Honestly, I don’t know,” Islam Makhachev said during an interview with BT Sport. “I hope Beneil (Dariush) wins because I already beat (Charles) Oliveira and I need some new challenge.”

“Dariush is going to be a good fight because this guy has good skills, striking skills, wrestling skills, and grappling skills,” Islam Makhachev explained. “That’s right, it’s going to be a good fight. But Oliveira – if he wants a rematch, if he shows a good performance, maybe he’s going to be next. I don’t know.” 

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Winning the vacant lightweight title in 2021 in a knockout win over Michael Chandler, Oliveira would defeat Dustin Poirier to defend his throne, before submitting Justin Gaethje in a non-title bout before his loss to Makhachev. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.