Islam Makhachev set to headline UFC Vegas card, says Dana White

Islam Makhachev, Dillon Danis, Kevin Lee
Image via @Islam_Makhachev on Instagram

UFC president Dana White says that top lightweight contender Islam Makhachev will headline an upcoming card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Makhachev was originally set to take on former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at this weekend’s UFC 254 card. However, the fight was scratched after RDA tested positive for COVID-19. Rather than keep Makhachev on the card against another opponent, the UFC has instead decided to re-book the fight between Makhachev and RDA for the UFC Vegas card on November 14, as we previously reported on BJPenn.com.

However, we didn’t know if that fight would be on the undercard or the headliner. With the November 14 card currently lacking a main event fight, the UFC will go with Makhachev vs. RDA in the five-round headliner. White confirmed the news with former UFC fighter Mike Swick on his “Real Quick” podcast (via TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter).

On the Real Quick with @officialswick podcast, Dana White floated the idea of a Tony Ferguson vs Michael Chandler fight to determine the top lightweight contender since neither has fought Khabib. Also mentioned that Islam Makhachev will headline an upcoming card in Vegas.

Makhachev (18-1) is the No. 12 ranked lightweight in the UFC. The 29-year-old Russian is 7-1 overall in the UFC and he is currently riding a six-fight win streak. His UFC wins came over Davi Ramos, Arman Tsarukyan, Kajan Johnson, Gleison Tibau, Nik Lentz, Chris Wade, and Leo Kuntz, with his lone UFC loss coming against Andriano Martins. Many believe that Makhachev has all the tools to be a future lightweight champion in the UFC.

RDA (29-13) is the former UFC lightweight champion and he is currently ranked as the No. 11 welterweight in the UFC. After going 1-4 over his last five fights at 170lbs, RDA is making the move back down to 155lbs. The 35-year-old Brazilian was the champion of the division between March 2015 and July 2016, when he lost his belt to Eddie Alvarez.

Who do you want to see Islam Makhachev fight next?