Islam Makhachev shoots down the idea of fighting Max Holloway after UFC 302: “I have some contenders who I have to beat”

By Curtis Calhoun - April 24, 2024

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has responded to Max Holloway’s callout shortly after winning the BMF belt earlier this month.

Islam Makhachev, Max Holloway

Holloway knocked out Justin Gaethje with one second left at UFC 300 to earn the BMF title. The former UFC featherweight titleholder will likely return to the 145lb division to challenge Ilia Topuria for the belt.

After a triumphant return to the lightweight division, Holloway has been discussed as a possible title challenger for the Makhachev/Dustin Poirier winner. Makhachev will return against Poirier in the UFC 302 main event in Newark.

Holloway called out Makhachev and Topuria inside the Octagon just minutes after the knockout. It didn’t take long for Makhachev to respond.

Islam Makhachev rules out Max Holloway clash after UFC 302 return

In a recent interview with the New York Post, Makhachev was asked about a future fight with the BMF titleholder.

“If he beats a couple more guys in my division, we can fight,” Makhachev said. “I don’t want to give him chance now because I have some contenders who I have to beat. Now I have Dustin, after we’ll have Arman [Tsarukyan]. I think I’ll have some guys in my division, he has guys in his division…

“Maybe if he wins his next fight. Maybe if he beats [Ilia] Topuria, and I finish all of my two fights, maybe.”

If Makhachev gets past Poirier at UFC 302, Arman Tsarukyan would likely be next in line for a lightweight title shot. He and Tsarukyan fought earlier in their careers, and the Armenian has amassed an impressive win streak.

Holloway’s next UFC fight hasn’t been booked as of this writing, but many expect it to be against Topuria. Holloway’s UFC 300 win was his first lightweight victory after falling to Poirier at UFC 236.

Makhachev vs. Holloway could happen down the line, but both stars appear to have different opponents in front of them for their next high-profile clashes.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Islam Makhachev Ismael Bonfim Max Holloway UFC