Islam Makhachev believes that the UFC “has to give” him a shot at Leon Edwards soon: “I already beat all these guys”

By Josh Evanoff - April 23, 2024

Islam Makhachev believes that he has to face UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards sooner rather than later.

Islam Makhachev, Leon Edwards

The Russian recently signed a deal to return to the cage at UFC 302 in June against Dustin Poirier. For Islam Makhachev, the contest will be his third lightweight title defense. He heads into his fight with ‘The Diamond’ having captured two straight title defenses against former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

It’s not exactly a secret that Islam Makhachev isn’t super excited to fight Dustin Poirier this summer. However, the lightweight champion needed a fight, and he badly wanted one after missing out on the chance to headline UFC 300. Makhachev has admitted that he was offered to face Leon Edwards in the main event of the historic card but rejected it due to Ramadan.

However, Islam Makhachev still has an eye on a move to welterweight. Speaking in a recent interview with NYPost Sports, the lightweight champion was asked about his future. There, Makhachev opined that he’s pretty much finished the job at lightweight. As far as title contenders go, the Russian believes that there aren’t many.


Islam Makhachev targets future clash against UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards

Having already secured wins over Arman Tsarukyan and Charles Oliveira, Islam Makhachev believes that he has to fight Leon Edwards soon. However, before he can do that, he has to get through Dustin Poirier in June. After that, Makhachev believes he’ll get one more title defense before moving up.

“Honestly, I don’t have like, any excited fight [for me at lightweight].” Islam Makhachev stated in the interview, discussing a potential move to welterweight. “Dustin has one fight win streak, and we have Arman. I’ve already beaten this guy. I don’t have some job in my division my opinion honestly. They have to give me a chance for a second belt.”

He continued, “I have already beaten all these guys… I did all the jobs in my division. In my division in the rankings, in the top five they’ve already beaten each other. That’s why I need some new challengers, some new opponents, a new belt. I think I have to finish this guy, and one more fight.”

“I think Arman is going to be next, and that’s it.” Islam Makhachev concluded. “I need my second belt. We will see [if I stick at lightweight]. Maybe we’ll take two belts and defend [both].”

What do you make of these comments from Islam Makhachev? Do you believe he should fight UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards?