Daniel Cormier explains why Islam Makhachev should fight Dustin Poirier next: “Tsarukyan would be probably the lowest-selling fight”

By Susan Cox - April 9, 2024

Daniel Cormier is explaining why Islam Makhachev should fight Dustin Poirier next and not the winner of Oliveira vs. Tsarukyan at UFC 300.

Daniel Cormier and Islam Makhachev

Former UFC heavyweight champion and current ESPN MMA analyst, Daniel Cormier, believes it would be in the best interests for Makhachev to stonewall Tsarukyan and get in the Octagon with Dustin Poirier.

Cormier, speaking on his YouTube channel shared:

“Islam and Tsarukyan would be probably the lowest-selling fight of all those fights, but it would be the absolute toughest. Tsarukyan has a style that lends itself to being competitive against Makhachev. I believe the Tsarukyan fight is the toughest fight. I don’t know that it’s the most lucrative fight for Makhachev.”

Makhachev (25-1 MMA), the current UFC lightweight champion, fought and defeated Arman Tsarukyan (21-3 MMA) by unanimous decision back in April of 2019.

Daniel Cormier continued (h/t MMANews):

“Producer says, ‘Who should you want if you’re Islam Makhachev?’ Who you don’t want, honestly, is Arman Tsarukyan. Not because you’re afraid of him, but you don’t really want it because it doesn’t seem to make sense. He needs a little bit more. Maybe he gets the rub from beating Charles Oliveira if he can this weekend. But I still don’t believe that it generates the revenue for you as the champion as a Dustin Poirier or a Justin Gaethje.”

It will be Charles Oliveira (34-9 MMA) vs Arman Tsarukyan in a lightweight bout this coming Saturday, April 13th at UFC 300.

Justin Gaethje (25-4 MMA) will also be on the historic UFC 300 card this weekend when he meets up with Max Holloway (25-7 MMA) for the BMF title.

Concluding, Daniel Cormier stated:

“So if I’m Islam Makhachev I’m doing exactly what I’m doing now. I’m insisting that you line me up with Dustin Poirier in July, then I’m insisting — if Justin Gaethje wins — you line me up with Justin Gaethje in October in Abu Dhabi. Or, if he doesn’t win, I’m saying I wanna fight Max Holloway. If I’m Islam, I want only names. Right now he’s won that belt, he’s defended that belt twice, but only against the 145-pound champion. He has not defended the belt against one of the bigger names in the weight class and for him, in terms of his wallet, that’s a really good thing. More title defenses, and the longer down the line that these names are, the better it is for you as a fighter.”

Do you agree with Daniel Cormier’s approach on the best route for Makhachev’s future fights in the cage?

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Daniel Cormier Islam Makhachev UFC UFC 300