Islam Makhachev Targets Justin Gaethje For His Next Fight
Following his impressive victory over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294, Islam Makhachev is looking to return to the octagon in March 2024, and he has his sights set on facing Justin Gaethje. The lightweight champion’s next opponent has been a topic of speculation, with Dana White open to the idea of re-booking Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira 2, although no confirmation has been made.
Gaethje’s head kick knockout over Dustin Poirier at UFC 291 has put him in a position to challenge Oliveira for the title. According to Josh Thomson, a former teammate of Makhachev, Gaethje poses the most dangerous test for the champion at the moment.
Makhachev, who was initially scheduled to fight Oliveira at UFC 294, expressed his desire to take on fresh challenges rather than engage in potential rematches with either Oliveira or Arman Tsarukyan. Despite calls for a rematch with Tsarukyan and Dana White endorsing the idea, Makhachev remains more interested in facing Gaethje.
During an interview at an IBF boxing event in Dubai, Makhachev made it clear that he is not interested in rematches and believes Gaethje is a more intriguing opponent for him. With his eyes set on March 2024, Makhachev is eager to face Gaethje as he looks to add new names to his list of conquests.