Islam Makhachev’s coach dismisses Max Holloway as a legitimate LW title threat: ‘It’ll be grueling for Max’

By Curtis Calhoun - May 20, 2024

Islam Makhachev’s head coach doesn’t believe Max Holloway seriously threatens Makhachev’s UFC lightweight title reign.

Islam Makhachev, Max Holloway

Makhachev will defend the UFC lightweight belt when he faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1. He returns after knocking out Alexander Volkanovski in October in his second consecutive win over the former featherweight titleholder.

Makhachev’s upcoming title defense comes just weeks after Holloway’s wild knockout win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 300. He knocked out Gaethje in his second-career UFC lightweight appearance to capture the BMF belt.

After winning the BMF title, Makhachev surfaced as another potential option for Holloway’s next fight. But, the lightweight titleholder Makhachev recently shut down that narrative.

Coach Javier Mendez cautions Max Holloway on Islam Makhachev fight

In a recent interview with Submission Radio, coach Javier Mendez weighed in on Makhachev potentially facing Holloway.

“It’ll be a grueling situation for Max [Holloway], not as much for Islam [Makhachev] because Max doesn’t really have great wrestling defense, nor does he care to have it,” Mendez said of a Makhachev vs. Holloway clash. “I don’t look at him as a huge threat, though he’s proven us wrong [before]. The fans might want to see it, so if the fans want to see it, the UFC offers it, there it is.”

Makhachev mocked Gaethje, Holloway, and the BMF belt ahead of UFC 300. He’s also more interested in potentially fighting for the welterweight title than fighting to take Holloway’s BMF belt.

Holloway is linked to a potential clash with UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria, although a formal booking hasn’t been announced. Topuria finished Volkanovski to win the featherweight belt at UFC 298.

Makhachev and Holloway have thrown jabs online at each other in recent weeks. While there isn’t apparent bad blood between the two sides, tensions are increasing.

A win at UFC 302 means Makhachev will likely face Arman Tsarukyan next. Past that, a clash with Holloway might be on the horizon, although Mendez and Makhachev aren’t concerned about the matchup.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Islam Makhachev Max Holloway UFC