Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev says it comes down to No. 1 ranked Charles Oliveira and No. 2 ranked Justin Gaethje when thinking of his next challenger.
“I’m pretty sure that after this fight, there’s already two definite opponents that are ready for a fight with me,” Makhachev claimed at Wednesday’s media day. “I think the two of them should fight each other so we have an actual No. 1 contender for the belt.”
Oliveira and Gaethje fought each other in a main event fight back in May 2022, with the Brazilian walking out of the octagon as the winner via a first-round submission.
Read more: Check out the UFC 294 weigh-in results here!
Islam Makhachev: “Everything on my side”
However, first things first for Makhachev, before facing Oliveira or Gaethje he has to get past featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in their rematch at UFC 294.
“Honestly, after the first fight, many people talking about the fight and many people wanting to watch this rematch,” Makhachev said. “I’m really happy because right now they can give me anyone, but I’m really happy because they give me Volkanovski because last time I fought in his arena, his area. Now it’s Abu Dhabi and everything on my side.”
The pairing first faced each other back in February at UFC 284 this past February. After five rounds of pure MMA excitement, Makachev retained his belt via unanimous decision.