Islam Makhachev called out three top lightweights post his UFC Vegas 31 win over Thiago Moises on Saturday, July 17.
Rafael dos Anjos, Tony Ferguson, and Michael Chandler were the three names that came up as the potential opponents that Islam Makhachev wants to face next on his way up to the top. However, neither of them has publicly accepted the challenge. It can be assumed from Makhachev’s latest tweet that no conversation has taken place personally either.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, Islam Makhachev slammed RDA, Ferguson, and Chandler for staying silent on the callouts. The Dagestani claimed the fighters were probably waiting for the return of a “smashed” Conor McGregor.
UFC president Dana White has suggested the name Beneil Dariush as Islam Makhachev’s next opponent, and the rising Dagestani lightweight has no problem with the matchup. However, it is evident that he would like to fight one of the three 155-pounders that he named at the event.
Islam Makhachev wants all the smoke
Islam Makhachev called Rafael dos Anjos out in the post-fight octagon interview immediately after the win. The two were supposed to meet twice before – first at UFC 254 in October and then at UFC Vegas 14 in November – but both times, the bouts were canceled. Rafael dos Anjos had contracted COVID-19 before the first fight, and the second time, it was Islam Makhachev who had to withdraw due to a staph infection.
This time, Islam Makhachev wants RDA to take as long as three to four months to be ready for the fight but to be ready nonetheless.
In a later interview with ESPN, Islam Makhachev also challenged Michael Chandler live on air, who was on desk duty for the official UFC broadcasters for the night. Makhachev said he would like to test Chandler’s skills since the latter comes from Bellator.
Chandler acknowledged the callout on-air and praised Islam Makhachev for his performance. Being a thorough professional, he did so in the capacity of an analyst, keeping his fighter’s hat off for the moment.
At the UFC Vegas 31 press conference, Islam Makhachev revealed that if he had to pick one among the three, he would go with Tony Ferguson. His reason was the history between the two camps dating back to the days of Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘The Eagle’ and ‘El Cucuy’ were booked to fight on five different occasions, only to be canceled each time.
Islam Makhachev is interested in ‘finishing the business’ with Tony Ferguson to prove to the world that ‘El Cucuy’ was never on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s level.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Makhachev’s manager sees a possible matchup with Conor McGregor down the line as well.
Who would you like to see Islam Makhachev face next? Comment below!
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