Islam Makhachev makes shock UFC title challenge to Conor McGregor
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UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is looking ahead after his win over Alexander Volkanovski, and it looks like a certain Irishman is in his sites.
Conor McGregor is set to return to the Octagon after a lengthy injury layoff, taking on three-time Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler.
The two The Ultimate Fighter coaches will battle it out at some stage this year with a win set to breathe new life into the former lightweight champion’s career.
Although he hasn’t secured victory in the lightweight division since 2016 a win over Chandler would go a long way to putting him into title contention.
And let’s face it - a matchup of McGregor against his bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protege would be one of the most intriguing fights the UFC could make.
The two were embroiled in a seriously heated feud that resulted in Khabib winning by submission in Round 4 to retain the lightweight championship.
That title is now held by Makhachev who is awaiting for some challengers to be put his way following his defence at UFC 284.
The Russian told BT Sport: “I’m just waiting for call. When UFC call me and when they put someone in front of me, I will be ready.”
He’ll likely face the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Darius at UFC 288, and he certainly has his preference.
He admitted: “I hope Beneil [Dariush] wins because I already beat Oliveira and I need some new challenge, you know?”
But really, Makhahchev is ready for anyone, asking Dana White to ‘call him’.
Prompted to chat about the McGregor and Chandler fight, the Dagestani Destroyer believed the fight was only made because the American ‘lost on purpose’.
“Conor chose Chandler. Chandler lost on purpose because if he beat a couple of guys it was never going to happen, versus McGregor,” Makhachev said.
“Of course [he lost on purpose]. He fights like crazy, like he comes from the streets. That’s why they make the fight.”
And if the Notorious one is successful, well Makhachev would be more than open to the fight.
He said: “He does not deserve, [maybe] if he beats Chandler or some of the guys.
“But, if UFC want, why not? Make some good money. Let’s go.”
Featured Image Credit: Px Images / Alamy. Jason Silva / Alamy.
Topics: UFC, MMA, Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov