Islam Makhachev reveals UFC rejected an offer to return in the summer: “Everything turned upside down”

By Josh Evanoff - June 19, 2023

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev will have to wait until the promotion’s trip to Abu Dhabi to fight.

Islam Makhachev

The Russian has been out of action since his clash with Alexander Volkanovski in February. The two champions headlined UFC 284 and put on an instant classic. At the end of the five-round bout, it was Makhachev who retained the lightweight title by unanimous decision.

Four months later, the lightweight titleholder still isn’t any closer to his return to the octagon. While ‘The Great’ is slated to fight at UFC 290 next month, Islam Makhachev’s next fight is yet to be announced. Dana White has previously hinted that they’re planning to have the champion return in Abu Dhabi, at UFC 294.

However, that’s not the plan that Islam Makhachev originally wanted. The lightweight champion recently discussed his hope to return this summer in an interview with Eagle FC. According to the Russian, the UFC turned down his offer to fight, instead stating that they needed him to wait.

It’s worth noting that the lightweight champion also added that he has no idea who he will fight next. Islam Makhachev stated that he hoped that Beneil Dariush would be his next title challenger, but he lost to Charles Oliveira earlier this month.


Islam Makhachev

(via Zuffa LLC)

“I was in the United States, met with the UFC. I asked for a fight in the summer,” Islam Makhachev stated in an interview at Eagle FC 52. (translated by YukaHero) “But they told me that I wouldn’t have time to fight in Abu Dhabi if I had a fight in the summer.”

He continued, “I don’t know [who I will fight next]. Maybe [Dustin] Poirier. He has a big name in the UFC. Well… Can’t say for sure. Dariush lost, everything turned upside down. I can’t say anything for now.”

What do you make of these comments? Who do you want to see Islam Makhachev fight next?


Islam Makhachev UFC