Islam Makhachev, the undisputed king of the lightweight division, once again clearly showed his willingness to fight beyond his weight class by challenging Leon Edwards, the current holder of the welterweight title.
On the main event of UFC 286, which took place tonight at The O2 Arena in London, the Nigerian Nightmare and Rocky fought against each other for the third time. Leon, who is currently the champion at welterweight, successfully defended his belt against Usman in a majority decision win (48-46, 48-46, 47-47).
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 19, 2023
What did Islam Makhachev say about fighting Leon Edwards?
As soon as the bout was over, rumors immediately began to circulate about who might be the next fighter to confront Rocky. Although UFC President Dana White stated during the post-fight press conference that Colby Covington, who previously held the interim welterweight title, will be Rocky’s opponent in the next bout.
On the other hand, the reigning lightweight champion of the UFC, who has already set his sights on stepping up to the welterweight division, issued a challenge to Edwards via a tweet.
”I want Leon (Edwards) next, October in Abu Dhabi.” Islam tweeted.
People are already shitting on Islam Makhachev for not fighting until the Abu Dhabi card.
The man has Ramadan in the middle of the year, it's not his fault. pic.twitter.com/l9NlUdQlQX
— Bread (@WonderbreadMMA) March 16, 2023
Makhachev defended his lightweight title for the first time last month against Alexander Volkanovski at the RAC Arena in Perth in UFC 284. With a 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46 unanimous decision victory over the Australian fighter, Makhachev successfully defended his title.
Earlier, before he fought against the current featherweight champion, the current holder of the 155-pound strap made his intentions clear that he is interested in competing in a higher weight class division in the future, indicating that he desires to go up to the 170-lb division.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) March 19, 2023
The Dagestani fighter disclosed his high aspirations in an interview with R Sports Russia, adding that even at the age of 31, he still has “fire in the belly” to fight.
“I like to fight strong fighters. I love big fights. Whoever is the welterweight champion, it’s going to be a huge fight. I’m very interested. But in 2023, there are worthy opponents in my division with whom I still have to meet.” said Islam.
‘I want Leon next’ – Lightweight champ Islam Makhachev has called for a super-fight vs Edwards after UFC 286. pic.twitter.com/SnAUw3o7mM
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) March 19, 2023
Do you believe that Islam should go for the welterweight king now that he has already defeated the champion in the featherweight division? If that’s the case, who do you see coming out on top among Edwards and Islam?