Undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has been linked with a slew of potential title defenses against the likes of Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, as well as former opponents, Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan in his Octagon return, however, claims as long as he competes at 155 pounds – none of them will touch the title belt.
Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion, and also the newly-minted pound-for-pound number one fighter under the banner of the promotion since last month, headlined UFC 294 back in October most recently.
Turning in his second consecutive title defense, Makhachev landed a stunning opening round high-kick knockout win over two-time foe and featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski in the pair’s championship rematch in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Winning vacant gold back in October of last year, Russian standout, Makhachev stopped the above-mentioned, Oliveira with a second round arm-triangle submission in a Middle East showdown.
And the subject of multiple call outs since his title fight victory in October, Makhachev was targeted by past-foe, Tsarukyan after UFC Austin last weekend, the Armenian, who currently holds the number four rank at lightweight, stopped Beneil Dariush with a first round knockout win.
Islam Makhachev issues warning to lightweight opposition
However, as far as the American Kickboxing Academy staple is concerned, nobody else will touch championship gold as long as he competes at the lightweight limit.
“Arman (Tsarukyan), Dustin (Poirier), Justin (Gaethje), Charles (Oliveira) they all good,” Islam Makhachev posted on his official X account. “They’re TOP 5 in the world, but none of them will get the belt, while I’m here. That’s it!”
How long can Islam Makhachev gold the lightweight title for?