“It is not like we are friends” – Islam Makhachev opens up on possible next fight against Justin Gaethje

Islam Makhachev is open to a Justin Gaethje fight next

Islam Makhachev seemed open to a fight against Justin Gaethje next

Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring from the UFC has shifted the focus on another Dagestani star, Islam Makhachev.

Khabib, and many others, have claimed that Makhachev is a future champion. The Russian has been impressive in his MMA career with just one loss to his name.

Makhachev was also coached by Khabib in his previous fight, a dominant win over Drew Dober. Makhachev and Khabib are close friends and The Eagle believes Islam will be a contender for the title soon.

Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira are to fight for the vacant Lightweight title and Makhachev shared his thoughts on this clash.

Islam Makhachev is called the next Khabib Nurmagomedov
Islam Makhachev poses on the scale, weighing in during the UFC 208 weigh-in inside Kings Theater on February 10, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.(Photo by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images)

However, the rising UFC star was also asked about the possibility of fighting Justin Gaethje next. Rafael dos Anjos and Paul Felder were two names that have been brought up as Makhachev’s next opponent too.

Makhachev was keen on fighting Chandler and added that they weren’t friends or anything:

“Yes, it’s possible. Justin and I know each other but it’s not like we are friends.

“It’s possible, he’s free right now. Why not? I’d love to fight him.”

Islam Makhachev won’t be able to set up Justin Gaethje for his next fight

Makhachev, like many Russian fighters is under the management of Ali Abdelaziz. The Egyptian is also the manager of Khabib and Gaethje.

A reporter asked if Makhachev could sit with Gaethje and Ali and set the fight up. However, the Russian revealed that the UFC would decide who he would fight next.

Makhachev is a big name now in the Lightweight division and all eyes would be on him ahead of his next fight.

Who won the fight at UFC 254?
Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Khabib claimed that his friend could headline a UFC event in June or July, and it will be interesting to see if that really happens.

Gaethje, for his part, was keen on fighting Chandler next. The Highlight posted his shock about the UFC 262 title fight but just kept his head down and continued working out:

“I woke up yesterday to train for a match-up with Chandler on May 15th expecting a bout agreement any moment. Today that is not the case, I don’t know what I do yet but I like this feeling. It was a good day at sparring practice.”

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Written by Saiyed Adeem Karim

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn't easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

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