Potential Fighters Islam Makhachev Could Face in His Next UFC Lightweight Title Defense; Details INSIDE

Who should Islam Makhachev fight in his next title defense? Exploring the three best possible options.

Published on Jun 15, 2024  |  07:01 PM IST |  64.4K
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Islam Makhachev's potential next opponents

Islam Makhachev is currently the reigning UFC lightweight champion. He is also the pound-for-pound number 1 fighter in the world. The Russian sealed his 14th straight UFC win at UFC 302 by submitting Dustin Poirier in the fifth round.

He is currently tied for the most title defenses in UFC lightweight history, three. Makhachev is on the cusp of breaking the record and in this article, we explore his potential next opponents.

 

Islam Makhachev’s potential next opponents

#1. Arman Tsarukyan

Arman Tsarukyan is currently the number 1 ranked lightweight in the world. The Armenian made his UFC debut in 2019 against Makhachev. He stepped in short notice and gave Makhachev arguably the toughest test of his UFC career.

Tsarukyan is now a much more seasoned fighter. He holds a 9-2 record in the division. According to the consensus notion, Tsarukyan has the best chance to dethrone Makhachev. He is certainly a worthy contender.

 


#2. Charles Oliveira

Islam Makhachev beat Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 to win the lightweight title. The duo were scheduled for a rematch at UFC 294. A last-ditch injury to Oliveira forced the Brazilian to pull out.

Oliveira recently suffered a close decision loss to Tsarukyan. However, the former champion is still the number 2 ranked lightweight. He is also one of the greatest lightweights ever. A setback to Tsarukyan could see Oliveira finally get his chance to regain the title. He would also have a shot at redemption against Makhachev.

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#3. Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor hasn’t fought since 2021. The Irishman, however, remains the biggest star in UFC history. He is set to take on Michael Chandler at UFC 303. A stellar win could catapult McGregor above other contenders.

Makhachev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has welcomed the possibility of his client fighting the former two-division champion. Fighting McGregor guarantees a payday that no other fight does. Given the Irish fighter’s history with Makhachev’s teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov, a potential fight would be a blockbuster.

Islam Makhachev is arguably the best fighter in the UFC at the moment. He is entertaining, as his seven finishes in the last eight fights prove. Regardless of the opponent, fans will keenly watch the Russian’s next octagon outing.

 

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About The Author

A BE graduate from Jadavpur University, Apratim, a Kolkata-based writer, is an avid sports lover. He has been

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